Leonard Batts showed up as scheduled Monday morning for arraignment in 35th District Court on a drug charge.
Police said the 2005 Dodge Ram 3500 dually he was driving had been reported stolen in Abilene — and, police said, the pickup contained a small amount of methamphetamine.
After his arraignment, Batts started to drive away from his courthouse parking space, not knowing he was being watched by several concealed Brownwood police officers.
Officers blocked him in and arrested him on charges of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and possession of a controlled substance, police Sgt. Troy Carroll said. Batts, 27, is free on $10,000 bonds.
Batts, of Abilene, was working for a company that repossesses vehicles, and he had repossessed the Dodge pickup the previous week from someone in Mineral Wells, Carroll said.
Someone from the company told Abilene police Monday morning that the truck had been stolen, Carroll said. Abilene police informed Brownwood police via teletype that the truck was stolen and that Batts was due in court that morning.
Batts had been indicted in August on a charge of engaging in organized criminal activity. He was one of several people indicted following investigations into drug trafficking, authorities have said, and he faced arraignment Monday.
After several phone calls between communications supervisor Deedra Molotsky, police officers and courthouse personnel, police learned that the pickup was parked at the courthouse and that Batts was in the building.
Carroll and fellow officers Zane Taylor, Larry Owings, Fred Bastardo and Johnny Jackson waited near the courthouse.
“They had inside surveillance on him and we had outside surveillance,” Carroll said.
After officers arrested Batts, they searched the pickup and found just under a gram of methamphetamine, Carroll said.
“He advised that he had permission to bring the vehicle from Abilene,” Carroll said.
A company representative said he did not have permission, Carroll said.