Texas Game Warden’s Investigation Results in Organized Crime Ring Bust and Multiple Arrests

The two-year, multi-agency effort led to high praise, award nominations and safer coastal communities 

GALVESTON– What started off as a run-of-the-mill investigation into a series of boat title discrepancies, concluded this past summer with multiple felony charges against three individuals suspected of running an interstate theft ring and the recovery of over $275,000 worth of stolen watercraft and other vehicles. Sergeant Game Warden Jonathan Griffin of the Marine Theft Investigation Unit facilitated an impressive two-year investigation into the organized crime ring leading to a nomination for Investigator of the Year Award by the International Association of Marine Investigators.  

“Considering that this is an international award I am really humbled to have been nominated,” said Sergeant Griffin. “I am very grateful to the Galveston County Auto Crimes Task Force and the other agencies across Texas, Alabama, and Florida who assisted with the resources necessary to build a strong case to hand over to the district attorney’s office for prosecution.”   

Sergeant Griffin further explained that the case began with a tip from the La Marque Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Law Enforcement Office regarding an individual titling numerous jet skis in their name at very low purchase prices. Eventually, a Florida county tax office notified the Sergeant that the suspect and a second individual were also titling a number of jet skis in Florida in the same manner.  

Over the following months, the Marine Theft Investigation Unit worked to trace the jet skis that were bought and sold by the suspects. The investigators uncovered that the jet skis being titled were actually stolen throughout Texas and then sold across multiple gulf states with false titles and identification numbers. Their work then identified a third suspect who had participated in the activity. 

 “After recovering 27 stolen vessels and trailers, we filed charges and arrested the three suspects for theft and engaging in organized crime,” said Griffin. “While the charges are pending, we are working to locate and recover more stolen jet skis and boats that may have been sold using the same scheme. It has been satisfying to be able to help get this property back to the rightful owners.”   

The case is currently being handled by the Galveston County District Attorney’s office.  

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Joseph Menslage

As the President and Publisher of Katy and Fort Bend Christian Magazines, Joe Menslage is committed to covering social and political news from a Christian worldview. He founded Katy Christian Magazine in 2005, which swept the greater Houston and Katy areas like a storm. That’s when Joe realized the urgent need for publications willing to give voices to the voiceless, without political correctness or censorship. Joe Menslage founded sister-publication Fort Bend Christian Magazine in 2014. Prior to creating Katy Christian Magazine, Joe Menslage led a colorful life. He was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, spent a great deal of his childhood in Colorado, and lived in a couple of other states before he moved to Houston in 1981. Joe was God-gifted with an entrepreneurial mind, and self-started other business ventures before he found his calling. In Joe’s words, our innate talents are given by the Lord, and are meant to be used to serve the Lord. Aside from being a President and Publisher, Joe Menslage is also the co-founder of Katy Christian Chamber of Commerce, where Christians can network, build business connections, listen to passionate speakers, and enjoy monthly breakfasts and lunches. Joe Menslage also hosts a weekly political satire YouTube channel. Joe Menslage has four children. Outside of work, he enjoys hiking, watching zombie movies and K dramas, ax-throwing and Krav Maga.