Police arrest Beaumont man for organized crime spanning months

Johnny Ray Martin

Jefferson County Fugitive Recovery deputies arrested Johnny Ray Martin, 44, at his residence at Feb. 13.

A Jefferson County warrant was issued for engaging in organized criminal activity with a bond of $100,000 after Beaumont Police filed charges against Martin on Feb. 10, BPD Officer Carol Riley said in a release.

BPD Detectives served a search warrant Jan. 12 at Martin’s apartment in the 4400 block of Phelan Boulevard, seizing property believed stolen from more than 20 residences in Jefferson and Orange counties and numerous businesses throughout Southeast Texas, according to the release. The four-page list of recovered items from Beaumont Police includes electronics like laptops, tablets, cellphones and a flatscreen TV as well as a tool set, large household appliances, antiques and jewelry.

Martin was transported to the Beaumont Police Department to speak with investigators Feb. 13.

Riley said in the release that "Martin is involved in drug dealing, prostitution and is a known 'fence' for stolen property," meaning that he knowingly buys stolen property for resale.

Lewallen said the investigation has been ongoing for months, and police have linked Martin to about 30 burglaries.

"We recovered over $30,000 worth of stolen property [and] merchandise inside his one-bedroom apartment in the West End of Beaumont," said burglary detective Tina Lewallen. "I know he did not act alone; there were many tentacles."

"This guy would fund drug addicts," Lewallen added. "When we did a search warrant on his phone, he actually manipulated drug addict after addict after addict to where he had them stealing from people, from stores, businesses, and exchange an $80 pill for a $20,000 wedding ring.

"He was a mastermind behind a crime spree for months."

Lewallen anticipates additional arrests. During the press conference, she said, "I have filed further charges at this point already."

Some items have already been returned to the owners, Lewallen said, noting jewelry and family heirloom pieces. Police are still working with retail stores to return merchandise, often still in the original packaging.

After being interviewed, Martin was transported to Jefferson County Correctional Facility.