Conroe, June 1 – On Thursday, May 27, 2021, a Montgomery County jury sentenced Dewayne Lee Waldrup, 40, to 50 years in prison after finding him guilty of the felony offense of Possession of a Controlled Substance and learning of his long criminal history. The Honorable Judge Patty Maginnis of the 435th District Court presided over the three- day trial.
On October 25, 2019, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office conducted an operation targeting recent bank jugging activity in the New Caney area. Detectives from Auto Theft, Homicide, and Narcotics divisions participated in the operation.
Just before 2:00 pm, undercover surveillance units observed a black 2019 Ford Explorer – later found to be occupied by Waldrup, a Houston resident, and his partner, David Jereome Thomas, also of Houston – parked in front of a Chase Bank near Highway 59 and FM 1485. After a citizen exited the Chase Bank and began to drive away, undercover detectives maintained surveillance on Waldrup and Thomas as they followed the unsuspecting citizen for several miles. Waldrup and Thomas ultimately gave up and returned to the same Chase Bank.
After Waldrup’s vehicle followed a second citizen away from the bank, the task force introduced an undercover bait car. An MCSO detective, acting as a bank customer, exited the bank with what appeared to be a thick envelope filled with a large amount of cash. As the detective drove away, Waldrup and Thomas followed him to a nearby parking lot where the detective parked before walking inside a store. As Waldrup and Thomas were about to break into the bait car, multiple undercover units converged and were able to take them into custody safely. Inside Waldrup’s vehicle, detectives located gloves, window punches, and handheld radios. On the floor at Waldrup’s feet, deputies also found multiple narcotics, including powder and crack cocaine. Upon further investigation, detectives discovered evidence of Waldrup’s long history of drug dealing and bank jugging. Waldrup was charged with several offenses and ultimately tried on the charge of Possession of a Controlled Substance, specifically of cocaine, a second degree felony.
After the jury returned a quick guilty verdict on the Possession of a Controlled Substance charge, prosecutors then presented Waldrup’s extensive criminal history, including convictions for Possession of a Firearm by a Felon and Evading Arrest in a Vehicle. Prosecutors were able to demonstrate that Waldrup’s prior imprisonments qualified him as a “habitual offender” and was, therefore, subject to 25 – 99 years or life in prison. The jury also learned of Waldrup’s many convictions for drugs, theft, and assault. Finally, the jury saw evidence from Waldrup’s cell phones, which included multiple photos and text messages in which Waldrup bragged about his many bank jugging exploits.
Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Taylor Vanegas presented this case to the jury. Vanegas expressed gratitude for the hard work and dedication of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office in continuing the fight against bank jugging in our community.
Assistant District Attorney Taylor Vanegas said, “The jury saw Dewayne Waldrup for who he really is. Their verdict and sentence reflect the type of life Waldrup lived and the real-world damage he has caused in the lives of so many community members. This jury has sent a loud and clear message to anyone who thinks of committing these types of predatory crimes in Montgomery County.”
District Attorney Brett Ligon added, “Bank Jugging continues to be a genuine and serious issue in the greater Houston area. Citizens should always remain aware of their surroundings when entering and leaving financial institutions and should contact law enforcement immediately if they feel they are being targeted or followed. I want to thank the detectives with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office for the outstanding, proactive work they did in this case. Because of them, a lifelong, committed criminal is off the streets. Montgomery County is a safer place because of their work.”