A former Houston police captain was arrested Tuesday following an altercation two weeks prior to the 2020 presidential election where he pointed a gun at the head of a man he falsely accused of being "the mastermind of a giant (voter) fraud" scheme, CNN reports. He has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and faces up to 20 years in prison.
According to the Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg, Mark Anthony Aguirre, 63, received more than $260,000 from a Houston-based private citizens group called "Liberty Center for God and Country" to look into baseless claims of voter fraud in the city. On October 16, Aguirre asked that a lieutenant with the Texas Attorney General's Office help with his investigation by conducting a traffic stop, but when his request was rejected, he decided to take matters into his own hands.
Three days later, Aguirre rammed his SUV into the back of the truck of someone he had been tracking for four days. When his suspect got out of the vehicle, Aguirre pointed a gun at his head, forced him to the ground, and pinned him to the ground by putting his knee in the man's back. When authorities arrived, Aguirre told them that he had been "investigating a voter fraud ballot harvesting conspiracy," and believed the man had been running an illegal operation out of his home.
Aguirre suspected that the man had 750,000 fraudulent mail ballots, and was "using Hispanic children to sign the ballots" because their fingerprints wouldn't show up in any databases. When police conducted a search of the man's truck, no such evidence supporting his wild claim existed. The "innocent and ordinary" air-conditioner repairman was allowed to leave. His home was later searched with his permission, and once again, nothing was found.
Jared Woodfill, president of "Liberty Center for God and Country," told CNN that they, along with Republican activist Steve Hotze, hired a private firm, which included "Aguirre, a former FBI investigator and about 20 investigators that investigated reports of voter fraud." Their findings were handed over to Hotze.
Aguirre has since released from jail after posting $30,000 bond.