Local man, 61, charged in theft of FEMA trailer
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

With a search warrant, Hopkins County Sheriff's Office Investigator Lewis Tatum, left, and Chief Investigator Andy Chester, right, look through some of the items recovered Friday afternoon on FM 2297after a follow-up investigation involving a stolen FEMA trailer Thursday. The HCSO, DPS, Drug Task Force and Northeast Texas Auto Theft Task Force worked together on the case recovering methamphetamine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia, stolen tools, a laser level, an enclosed trailer and $12,637 in cash.
Staff Photo By Angela Pitts

Feb. 26, 2006 -- Sheriff's deputies arrested a 61-year-old man at his residence on FM 2297 Friday afternoon in connection with three felony thefts, including the Federal Emergency Management Agency travel trailer found on his property Thursday evening.

Ralph Nolan Doss was also charged with manufacture or delivery of the controlled substance methamphetamine and felony possession of marijuana.

A tip from a confidential informant led to the camper Thursday. The trailer had been stolen from a Sherman-area lot, where it was among several designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to be sent to Louisiana and the Gulf Coast area for hurricane victims.

Sheriff's investigators then contacted Northeast Texas Auto Theft Task Force detectives, who worked in conjunction with deputies, state troopers and drug task force officers following up on clues unearthed along with the discovery of the FEMA trailer.

On Friday, the officers had received enough information that they were able to secure a warrant permitting them to search Ralph Doss's residential property where the stolen FEMA trailer was recovered.

At about 12:30 p.m. a joint team consisting of Hopkins County Sheriff's Investigations Lewis Tatum, Jace Anglin, Charles Humphreys and Chief Investigator Andy Chester; HCSO Cpl. Eddie Moon, handler of canine officer Jack, and Sgt. Todd Evans; Detective Jeremy Massey with Northeast Texas Auto Task Force; Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Brian Worley; and Investigator Matt Hooper, HCSO's representative on Red River Valley Drug Task Force, went to the FM 2297 property located near Sulphur Springs city limits and served Doss with the warrant.

He was taken into custody a short while later for the trailer theft, as well as for possession of drug paraphernalia found in the residence and another smaller trailer which came back as stolen from the Dallas area, according to sheriff's investigators.

The team located several bundles of money, including a stack each of $1s and $100s, at least two stacks of $20s and $10s, and a stack of mixed bills found concealed in various locations in the kitchen and living room area, Tatum said Friday afternoon.

 Chester seized the money, which totaled $12,637. Officials plan to file the paperwork for forfeiture of the money, which would be divided among the law enforcement agencies.

Several containers containing change were also found stashed throughout the house.

Officers found innumerable small bags, which were considered drug paraphernalia as they were of the type used to package illegal drugs for sale. From the garage, they found a quart canning jar which contained a gallon freezer bag with a felony amount of marijuana in a trash can.

A container with traces of methamphetamine was also found, along with numerous stolen brand new tools, three rifles, a pistol and a laser level, all believed to be stolen.

Doss was charged Friday with manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, theft of the FEMA trailer which was valued at approximately $21,000, as well as on two counts theft of property valued between $1,500 and $20,000 for the other items identified as stolen. Doss remained in the county jail in lieu of $10,000 bond on the methamphetamine charge, $5,000 each on two theft charges and the marijuana charge, and $20,000 on the stolen trailer charge, according to jail reports.

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