Pct. 3 Constable Randall “Randy” Lee Thompson, arrested by Federal Bureau of Investigation officials Thursday on federal charges of possession and distribution of pseudoephedrine, a component of methamphetamine, is set to go back to court this week.

Thompson, 37, of Jacksonville, will have a detention hearing at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday at U.S. District Court with the U.S. Magistrate Judge John Love presiding.

“We’re seeking to hold him without bond, until his trial,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Moore, who is prosecuting the case.

Thompson will remain in the Upshur County Jail until Tuesday’s hearing. Moore said he was detained because Thompson was a “flight risk,” who might escape and “attempt to obstruct justice.”

The arrest comes after several months of investigation of Thompson by the FBI.

Moore said the investigation began around the end of October or beginning of November, because that was when he was contacted to prosecute the case. According to indictment papers, “on or about Nov. 7, 2005,” Thompson “did knowingly and intentionally possess and distribute approximately 108 grams of a pseudoephedrine” which is a List 1 chemical used to create the schedule II controlled substance methamphetamine.

Peter Galbraith, FBI senior resident agent, said he could not comment on specific details on the case.

“The investigation has been on-going for a number of months,” Galbraith said. “We have a sufficient amount of evidence against Mr. Thompson. This has nothing to do with other issues that have been going on.”

If convicted of the charge, Thompson could spend up to 20 years in prison, and/or be charged a fine not to exceed $250,000, according to the indictment papers.

Thompson, who also works full time for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Hodge Unit, still holds both his constable position and his employment with TDCJ, but TDCJ public information officer Mike Viesca said Thompson’s employment with TDCJ is currently under review.

Thompson pleaded Thursday that he could not afford an attorney, so U.S. Public Defender Wayne Dickey was appointed to serve as Thompson’s attorney. He was unavailable for comment before press time.

Thompson began to work for TDCJ on March 10, 1999, and currently makes $2,612.48 per month, according to Viesca. He also receives $25,000 per year salary and $150 per month travel expenses as constable.

The charge against Thompson is a federal offense because it violates Title 21 of the United States Code Section 841 (c)(2) according to Moore, which states that it is illegal for anyone to have possession of and distribute a List 1 chemical with intent of that substance to be used to produce an illegal controlled substance.

“He was indicted (on the charge) by the U.S. Grand Jury on Jan. 10,” Moore said. “That (paperwork) was sealed and not made open to the public until (Thursday). He was arrested approximately 8 a.m. Thursday at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Beto Unit at the Tennessee Colony, near Palestine.”

According to Pct. 3 Justice of the Peace Judge James Morris, if Thompson is convicted of the charge, he would not be allowed to serve as a peace officer.

“And from my understanding,” Morris said, “he will not be able to get it (his certification) back.”

Morris said the FBI had videotape footage of Thompson dealing with drugs at his residence. When asked if the evidence involved video tape, Galbraith said “we won’t confirm or deny the type of evidence we have.”

The arrest comes after Lake Palestine resident Josie Schoolcraft’s petition to have Thompson removed from office for his failure to do sworn duties.

Morris, who said he was considering bringing charges against Thompson for failure to act as bailiff, said Thompson had told him about dealings with unlawful activities.

“I’ve had suspicions,” Morris said. “His activities spanned well beyond bad rumors.

“He admitted to me, bragging practically, about a gallon baggy of marijuana. He made no arrest (in the case), and in exchange, he would get them to try to spy for him against his ex wife. He’s claimed that he was looking for informants. I told him, ‘I don’t know why you’re telling me this.’”

Morris said Thompson had told him about such activities approximately six months ago, and Morris, who said he was “intolerant” about such matters, said he spoke to higher authorities about Thompson’s failure to do his duties.

“I had talked to (County Judge) Chris Davis and (Pct. 3 Commissioner) Moody Glass, giving them reports, mostly oral,” Morris said. “Some were written.”

Glass said he recalled Morris telling him only about Thompson being uncooperative and not doing his job as constable for the justice of the peace court.

“The only thing I knew about was the suit that was going on with Ms. Schoolcraft,” Glass said. “I was totally shocked when I got the call (Thursday) that this had happened — I had no earthly idea.”

Morris said he is not surprised at recent events.

Davis said Thompson’s arrest is “embarrassing to the county.”

“We’re (as elected officials) going to abide by the same laws,” Davis said, “and even more so because we’re in the public eye.”

Morris said Thompson told him he intended to resign on Dec. 13, 2005, however, Davis said as of Friday the office has not received a resignation letter.

If the office becomes vacant, the commissioners court will advertise for applicants to fill the position, Glass said.

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