Pubdate: Tue, 15 May 2001
Source: Waco Tribune-Herald (TX)
Copyright: 2001 Waco-Tribune Herald
Author: Tommy Witherspoon


A juvenile correctional officer at the Texas Youth Commission facility in 
Mart was placed on felony probation Tuesday after his conviction as a 
cocaine dealer.

Judge George Allen of Waco's 54th State District Court placed Patrick 
Dewayne Jones, 20, of Waco on probation for six years and ordered him to 
perform 500 hours of community service.

Jones, who told the judge that the first-degree felony conviction should 
have no bearing on his employment status, pleaded guilty March 29 to 
possession of cocaine with intent to deliver.

Jones started working as a juvenile correctional officer at the McLennan 
County State Juvenile Correctional Facility in Mart three days after he 
pleaded guilty to the drug charges, said John Hopkins, the TYC facility's 

Hopkins said Jones applied for a job at the facility in January, stating on 
his application that he had not been convicted of a crime. The application 
does not ask about arrests, Hopkins said, and a criminal background check 
on Jones, who also has used the last name Minter, did not reveal his June 
9, 2000, arrest during a police sweep of a known crack house on North 19th 

"We checked today and there is still nothing that came up on him," Hopkins 
said Tuesday. "Evidently, there is a delay in getting the information to 
the (Department of Public Safety). We will be investigating this, and if 
indeed this is true, then it will, in fact, affect his employment here."

Hopkins said policy dictates that no one with a felony conviction can work 
for the TYC.

"Our policy requires that if you get a speeding ticket, you report it to 
human resources," Hopkins said. "Anything as minor as that you have to 
report. This occurred before he was an employee. It looks like he pleaded 
out the day before he came to work, but he didn't misstate anything on his 

Jones' attorney, Ron Moody, said it would be a "damn shame" if Jones loses 
his job.

"All I know is that this young man took an 80-hour course of study and 
passed it and his (report by probation officers) was excellent. The 
probation officer recommended probation, so it was not like it was a hinky 
deal or anything. I hate it that he is going to lose his job, but if that 
is policy, it is policy."

Prosecutor Matt Johnson recommended that Jones be sentenced to six years in 
prison on the drug charge, but neither opposed nor recommended probation. 
The judge ordered a background report by the probation department before 
sentencing Jones.

Jones was among three others arrested at what police called in reports "a 
house that is strictly nothing more than a crack house." No one lived at 
the residence in the 1700 block of North 19th and the only furniture in the 
house was a TV, two sofas and a radio, police reports indicate.

"The house was used solely for the purpose of distributing cocaine," a Waco 
drug enforcement officer wrote in his report.

When officers arrived, Jones jumped from a back porch and tried to climb a 
fence in the back yard before an officer grabbed him. The officer said that 
Jones threw a pill bottle that contained 35 "rocks" of crack cocaine that 
weighed 9.7 grams.

The officers also recovered 78 other rocks of crack, some marijuana, crack 
pipes, scales and two pistols and a rifle at the house, reports indicate.

Prosecutors dismissed a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge against 
Jones as part of the plea bargain.
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