Janis McCollom,

Janis McCollom,

A weeklong electronic journal.
June 4 1998 3:30 AM

Janis McCollom,

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       I did pick up new cases from my bondsman yesterday, of which two are felonies. One is a Theft case ($20,000-$100,000), and the other is Aggravated Sexual Assault. The defendant with the Aggravated case has picked up another felony charge for the same thing. He is also a crack head. That alone makes him dangerous.
       I contact the Gulf Task Force, a law enforcement group made up of detectives from Harris County, the Houston Police Department, the FBI, the marshal's office, and the Drug Enforcement Administration. They run nothing but Red Jacket cases (violent offenders). I'm in luck, for I'm given to a detective who knows me through the Harris County Warrant Division. He takes all my information. The co-sureties will help locate the defendant.
       This defendant is supposedly staying at the Airline Motel in Room 308. However, the room isn't under his name. There's no telling whose name it's under or how many people will be in there. This area is well known for drugs. I am hindered in this investigation by the facts that 1) I have no photo of the defendant (his description fits many men: 6 feet, 185 pounds, brown eyes, black hair, no scars or tattoos) and 2) he's very dangerous. If I had a photo, I would have a visual image and could contact the detective. It takes a week or so to get photos, sometimes longer.
       I will go and work the Theft case and hope the information on the Agg. case turns out to be useful. The detective who took the information is good, and he'll do his best.
       I learn the defendant in the Theft case is living and working at a bar off the Hardy Toll Road and Aldine Mail Road. The investigator from the district attorney's office who busted this man originally would like to bust him again. I contact the investigator and provide him with the information I have and let him know I'm going to check out the location. He will be in the area. This bar has nothing around it really so surveillance can be done. I go in, and the defendant isn't there.
       I contact the source who has given me the information. This individual makes some calls and phones me back. The defendant's due at the bar any time. I check the feeder to the Hardy Toll Road several times, waiting. Each time I pass there are different vehicles coming and going. The traffic in and out of there makes me think drugs are being dealt.
       I let the investigators from the district attorney's office know the man is due any moment. Then I get a 911 page from the informant. The defendant's there now but is fixing to leave to go to Homble and Kingwood. The investigators miss him. Now it's a wait-out game, and I hope he contacts my informant.
       I go back to my office and make phone calls on other cases.
       Around midnight I'm paged. The informant has been contacted again. The defendant is at the Western Inn on 610. I make the decision to run it in the morning, because the defendant is still moving around.

Janis McCollom is a private criminal investigator based in Houston. She locates criminal defendants who have jumped bail. This is her 16th year in practice.