LUFKIN, Texas (KETK) – A Lufkin man was arrested after a car chase Thursday afternoon that followed with authorities discovering and automatic rifle, liquid meth and ammo.
The Lufkin Police Department said they detained Leland Randolph, 37, on a stolen vehicle warrant. In the days leading up to the arrest, Lufkin police and the Angelina County Sheriff’s Office were working a joint investigation on reports that Randolph, who is a convicted felon on parole, was in possession of a fully automatic rifle, multiple stolen guns and stolen vehicles.
On Thursday afternoon, investigators saw Randolph at a storage facility with three women, according to a release. Investigators planned to approach Randolph with extreme caution due to him possibly being armed with an automatic weapon utilizing an armored vehicle and SWAT team members, authorities said.
According to the release, when authorities arrived at the storage facility, Randolph and the two women were taking items from a storage unit and putting them in a black Chevrolet pickup truck. The women were identified as January Powers, 33, of Huntington, and Alice Horton, 30, of Pollok. Authorities said the suspects saw officers enter the gate through a pair of binoculars and fled.
Randolph left with Horton as his passenger in a blue Dodge pickup truck and drove through two fences before getting onto the highway, according to officials.
The pursuit started around 4:40 p.m. on State Highway 94, and it reportedly reached speeds of up to 90 mph. Randolph was detained at approximately 5:10 p.m. An officer used a pursuit intervention technique (PIT) while Randolph was driving on Buttermilk Road by bumping the back of the pickup.
Following the use of the PIT, officials said Randolph jumped out of the driver’s side window and attempted to run away, but he was tackled and taken into custody.
Horton did not attempt to flee and was taken into custody for evading arrest with a vehicle. Powers was taken into custody for being in possession of the stolen Chevrolet pickup, and she also had a warrant for possession of drug paraphernalia. The third woman was released from the scene.
ACSO investigators recovered a rifle, several pistol magazines, an assortment of ammo and liquid methamphetamine from the storage unit. They said that a warrant for criminal mischief due to damage done to the fences will also be filed.
At one point in the pursuit, authorities say Randolph jumped a railroad track between Southwood Drive and College Drive causing major damage to the back end of the pickup.
Randolph remains in the Angelina County Jail on the three felony warrants and new charges of evading arrest with a vehicle, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon and two counts of possession of a controlled substance.
Randolph was reported to be storing the stolen firearms at a storage business on State Highway 94 west, outside of city limits. Through the court investigation, authorities obtained three felony warrants for Randolph for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a controlled substance.
According to police, Randolph has been booked into the Angelina County Jail 24 times for charges including burglary of a habitation, evading arrest, possession of a controlled substance, possession or transport of certain chemicals with the intent to manufacture a controlled substance, unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon, theft, engaging in organized criminal activity and manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance.
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