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Brooks County, Texas is a less than five-hour drive from Houston, but the rural community of just over 7,200 people is facing an overwhelming amount of crime.
High-speed chases, smugglers and a rising body count has become a fact of life in a county made up largely of ranchers and farmers.
“We have a lot to contend with,” said Brooks County Chief Deputy Urbino Martinez. “It takes a toll.”
Houston’s connection to this rise in crime can be clearly seen in the 250 cars kept in the sheriff’s office’s impound lot.
“There’s criminal acts involving every vehicle that’s here,” said Martinez.
Martinez said 95 percent of the cars the county has seized this year as part of human, drug and weapons smuggling were originally stolen out of the Houston area.
“The connection between us and Houston, it’s almost like you would have to say ‘neighboring,’” said Martinez.
In addition to…
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