“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” in Collin County

March 15, 2017

(McKinney, Texas) – DWI drivers need to be on notice that this weekend will be a “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” weekend, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.

Those showing signs of driving while intoxicated will be asked to provide a breath or blood sample.  If they refuse, officers will seek a warrant from a judge.  On-call judges stand ready to determine probable cause for a warrant.  The driver’s blood will be drawn if the judge finds there is sufficient evidence of DWI.

The mission of the Collin County District Attorney’s office is to pursue justice and protect the community.  It works with law enforcement agencies to reduce the number of DWI offenses through the combination of effective prosecution and public awareness of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” program.

The officers do not draw the blood. Rather, health care professionals are stationed at certain local jails for this purpose.  The aim of this program is to keep citizens and roadways safe by preventing DWI activity.  But those who disregard the rights of others should be aware that March 17 – 20 is a “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” weekend in Collin County.

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Former Children’s Medical Center of Plano Phlebotomist Sentenced to 19 years for Inappropriately Touching Female Teenage Patients

March 1, 2017

(McKINNEY, Texas) – Mohammad Ali, 46, of Plano was sentenced to 19 years in prison after pleading guilty to seven counts of indecency with a child, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.  “This perpetrator preyed upon young teenaged girls who trusted him to do his job right.  In the end, it was the courage of these very girls that helped us catch him and hold him accountable.  He won’t be preying on any more children.”

Ali was employed as a phlebotomist at Children’s Medical Center of Plano.  The initial victim came forward in December 2015 after Ali inappropriately touched her over her clothing while she was having her blood drawn by Ali in the laboratory.  After the first report, five additional victims reported offenses that occurred between August and December of 2015.  Each victim reported similar inappropriate touching by Ali over their clothes during blood draws.  The victims were between 12 and 15 years of age at the time of the incidents. Plano Police Detective Chris Jones investigated each case.

Ali pled guilty in exchange for the 19 year sentence on Friday.  The maximum sentence for this second degree felony is 20 years.  Some of the victims and their families were present for the plea.  The victims who were present for the plea gave statements about how Ali’s abuse impacted them.  Judge Richard Davis presided over the case and sentenced Ali.

Ali began working at the CMC lab in March of 2015.  Ali was initially placed on administrative leave from the hospital but was ultimately terminated prior to being arrested for three counts of indecency with a child in January of 2016.  Children’s Medical Center cooperated with the Plano Police Department throughout the criminal investigation.

Assistant District Attorney Sarah Preston prosecuted the cases, assisted by District Attorney Investigators Ryan Harvey and Greg Bowers, as well as District Attorney Victim Assistance Coordinator Susanne Riggs.

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Princeton Man Sentenced to 35 Years Without Parole for Repeated Sexual Assault of a Child

February 21, 2017

(McKINNEY, Texas) – Matthew Allen, 32, of Princeton was sentenced to 35 years in prison without parole for continuous sexual abuse of a child and indecency with a child, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.

Allen began molesting a child known to him from the time she was she was 9 years old until she was 14 years old.  The child’s father found out about the abuse, and contacted Child Protective Services, who began the investigation.  The case was also simultaneously investigated by the Collin County Sheriff’s Office.  CPS Investigator Kalyn Rosser set up a forensic interview, where the victim described the progression of sexual abuse.  The abuse began in Texas, continued in another state, and concluded back in Texas.

On Thursday, the jury returned guilty verdicts on one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child and two counts of indecency with a child.  Allen will serve 35 years in the Texas Department of Corrections without the possibility of parole.  Judge Ray Wheless presided over the case.

Assistant District Attorneys Shannon Miller and Peter Ganyard prosecuted the case, assisted by District Attorney Investigators Greg Bowers, Oscar Perez, and Matt Mayes, as well as District Attorney Victim Assistance Coordinator Susanne Riggs.

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Bail Jumper Who Fled to Mexico is Sentenced to 27 Years for Aggravated Robbery

February 21, 2017

(McKINNEY, Texas) – Ali L. Ghanbari, 24, of Plano, who was extradited from Mexico to stand trial in Texas, was sentenced to 27 years for Aggravated Robbery, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.

On November 21, 2012, Ghanbari recruited two other individuals to commit a robbery at an apartment complex near Custer and 15th Street in Plano, Texas. The intended victim had previously purchased marijuana from Ghanbari on four occasions, but no longer wanted Ghanbari’s business.  Ghanbari planned the robbery in retaliation and supplied the firearms used in the offense.

The first suspect that entered the apartment was shot and killed by a civilian in self-defense. Ghanbari fled the scene but left his cell phone in the deceased’s car, which was later turned over to Plano Police and the assigned Detectives Daniel Caballero and Brian Pfahning.  During their investigation, those same detectives uncovered text messages planning the crime between Ghanbari and the deceased.  Ghanbari was arrested in January 2013 for his role in the offense but got out of jail 21 days later after posting a $150,000 bond.

In October 2013, Ghanbari was required to appear for a court hearing due to a subsequent arrest for possession of marijuana, a violation of his bond.  Ghanbari left the courthouse before the hearing began and fled to Mexico to avoid prosecution.  In November 2015, he was extradited back to Texas with the help of the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force, assisted by District Attorney Investigator Jared Clark.

On Friday, the jury convicted Ghanbari of Aggravated Robbery with a Deadly Weapon and sentenced Ghanbari to 27 years in prison. Judge Angela Tucker presided over the case.
Assistant Criminal District Attorneys Calli Bailey and Doug Millican prosecuted the case, aided by District Attorney Investigator Laurie Gibbs.

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“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” in Collin County

February 15, 2017

(McKinney, Texas) – DWI drivers need to be on notice that this weekend will be a “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” weekend, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.

Those showing signs of driving while intoxicated will be asked to provide a breath or blood sample. If they refuse, officers will seek a warrant from a judge. On-call judges stand ready to determine probable cause for a warrant. The driver’s blood will be drawn if the judge finds there is sufficient evidence of DWI.

The mission of the Collin County District Attorney’s office is to pursue justice and protect the community. It works with law enforcement agencies to reduce the number of DWI offenses through the combination of effective prosecution and public awareness of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” program.

The officers do not draw the blood. Rather, health care professionals are stationed at certain local jails for this purpose. The aim of this program is to keep citizens and roadways safe by preventing DWI activity. But those who disregard the rights of others should be aware that February 17-19 is a “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” weekend in Collin County.

Human Trafficking Nets 40 Years For Collin County Man

February 10, 2017Silverburg book-in photo (2-10-17)

McKinney, Texas – Johnta Silverburg, 31, of Plano, Texas, received 40 years in prison for Continuous Trafficking of Persons, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.

“Silverburg targeted and exploited a vulnerable woman for his own financial gain.  Sex trafficking won’t be tolerated in Collin County, and my office will continue to work closely with law enforcement to arrest and prosecute these predators,” said Willis.  Silverburg met his victim online in 2011 and forced her to work for him as a prostitute.  Up to his arrest in 2015, he acted as her pimp and subjected her to threats and multiple assaults.  The victim testified that she was only allowed to leave home to work as a prostitute and had limited access to money.

A search of the house where the victim and Silverburg lived revealed that Silverburg maintained control of the victim’s driver’s license and social security card, as well as thousands of dollars in cash.  Police were alerted when a second victim of Silverburg’s was found after a local shelter called about a 17 year old, with possible ties to human trafficking.  Texas Department of Public Safety agents Colby Langford and Clay Platt led the investigation which resulted in Silverburg’s conviction.

The jury convicted Silverburg of Continuous Trafficking of Persons and he was sentenced to 40 years in prison.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant Criminal District Attorneys Thomas Ashworth and Ashley Briggs.  They were aided by District Attorney Investigator Laurie Gibbs.  The case was investigated by agents with the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Human Trafficking Task Force based in Garland, Texas.  Judge David Waddill presided over the case.

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Life Sentence for Murderer

February 6, 2017Jones Book-In Photo (2-10-17)

McKinney, Texas – James Otis Jones, 52, of McKinney, Texas, received a life in prison sentence on Tuesday January 17, for Murder, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.

On the morning of April 28, 2015, Jones and his ex-wife were at a Dollar General store to get food for lunch.  After his ex-wife returned to their car from inside the store, Jones pulled out a knife he had hidden in the car earlier, and began to stab his ex-wife.  When she grabbed the knife in defense, Jones grabbed another knife he had previously hidden and continued his violent assault.  His brutal attack lasted less than four minutes before his ex-wife was dead.  After murdering his ex-wife, surveillance video revealed Jones entered the Dollar General store, where he informed an employee that he had just killed his wife, and for the employee to call the police.  Once McKinney Police arrived on scene minutes later, Jones was taken into custody without issue.

Jones told McKinney Detective Paul Hardin and Texas Ranger Reuben Mankin that he had “been meaning to kill her” for months, and had hidden the knives in the car months before, in anticipation of murdering his ex-wife.  Testimony revealed there was a history of violence between Jones and his ex-wife, including multiple convictions for Jones violating a protective order his ex-wife had obtained.  The basis for the murder occurring on this date, according to Jones, was that his ex-wife had asked him to leave her apartment by the end of the week.  When Jones was unable to convince his ex-wife to change her mind, he decided that would be the date he killed her.

Jones pleaded guilty to the court, and a hearing was held to determine his sentence.  District Judge Benjamin Smith presided over the case and sentenced Jones to Life in prison, and a $10,000 fine after hearing about multiple prior prison sentences and other convictions, some of which involved the same victim he ultimately murdered.  When pronouncing Jones’ Life sentence, Judge Smith commented on the extreme brutality of this murder, along with Jones’ history of violence and criminal convictions as the basis of his decision.

Jones will be eligible for parole consideration in 30 years.  Assistant Criminal District Attorneys Abby Policastro and Lisa Milasky King prosecuted the case and were aided by District Attorney Investigators Kenny Newton and Mike Bennett.  The case was investigated by the many members of the McKinney Police Department, along with the Texas Rangers.

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“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” in Collin County

January 18, 2017CCDAseal

(McKinney, Texas) – DWI drivers need to be on notice that this weekend will be a “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” weekend, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.

Those showing signs of driving while intoxicated will be asked to provide a breath or blood sample.  If they refuse, officers will seek a warrant from a judge.  On-call judges stand ready to determine probable cause for a warrant.  The driver’s blood will be drawn if the judge finds there is sufficient evidence of DWI.

The mission of the Collin County District Attorney’s office is to pursue justice and protect the community.  It works with law enforcement agencies to reduce the number of DWI offenses through the combination of effective prosecution and public awareness of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” program.

The officers do not draw the blood. Rather, health care professionals are stationed at certain local jails for this purpose.  The aim of this program is to keep citizens and roadways safe by preventing DWI activity.  But those who disregard the rights of others should be aware that January 20 – 22 is a “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” weekend in Collin County.

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“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” in Collin County

December 15, 2016

(McKinney, Texas) – DWI drivers need to be on notice that this weekend will be a “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” weekend, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.

Those showing signs of driving while intoxicated will be asked to provide a breath or blood sample. If they refuse, officers will seek a warrant from a judge. On-call judges stand ready to determine probable cause for a warrant. The driver’s blood will be drawn if the judge finds there is sufficient evidence of DWI.

The mission of the Collin County District Attorney’s office is to pursue justice and protect the community. It works with law enforcement agencies to reduce the number of DWI offenses through the combination of effective prosecution and public awareness of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” program.

The officers do not draw the blood. Rather, health care professionals are stationed at certain local jails for this purpose. The aim of this program is to keep citizens and roadways safe by preventing DWI activity. But those who disregard the rights of others should be aware that December 16-18 is a “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” weekend in Collin County.

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Former Plano Firefighter Sentenced to 60 Years for Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child

December 13, 2016combest-12-13-16

(McKinney, Texas) – Larry Combest, 45, of McKinney, Texas, was recently sentenced to 60 years in prison for aggravated sexual assault of a child, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.

From 2002 until approximately 2004, Combest molested a child in Wylie that was known to him.  The child was 11-14 years old at the time.  As an adult, the victim came forward in 2015 and discussed the abuse with a sibling after learning two young unrelated children disclosed recent abuse by Combest.

While investigating the allegations by the two young children, McKinney Police Detective Jason Pruett learned of the Wylie victim’s disclosure and forwarded the case to the Wylie Police Department for investigation.  Wylie Detective Helen Taylor spoke with the victim about specific details of the sexual abuse and investigated the case.

The jury returned a guilty verdict for three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and two counts of indecency with a child by contact.  After hearing additional witnesses during the punishment phase, including the two young children, the jury sentenced Combest to 60 years in prison for aggravated sexual assault of a child and 20 years in prison for each count of indecency with a child.  The sentences will run concurrently.

Judge James Fry presided over the trial.  Assistant District Attorneys Sarah Preston and Lindsey Wynne prosecuted the case, assisted by District Attorney Investigator Ryan Harvey.

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