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March 10, 2022 - Predator Poachers, a group of private citizens out of Houston, Texas, assisted in initiating the arrest of a Timpson man for soliciting a minor for sex at a local retail store in Center.
According to the Center Police Department, they were called to the Tractor Supply on Friday evening, March 3, 2023 and upon arrival located four individuals near the loading dock on the side of the store. The first officer on scene was notified immediately of an undercover operation by private citizens regarding a child predator who had solicited sex from a person the predator believed to be a 13-year-old female.
The Center Police Department began their investigation and James Alan Burke, 33 of Timpson, was arrested. At the time of the incident, he was an employee of the store. Burke was taken into custody without incident and charged with Online Solicitation of a Minor as well as four counts of Failure to Comply with Sex Offender Requirements. He is currently being held in the Shelby County Jail with a bond of $675,000 for the charge of Online Solicitation of a Minor and bonds of $100,000 on each of the four charges of Failure to Comply with Sex Offender Requirements for a total of $1,075,000 in bonds set by Donna Hughes, Justice of the Peace for Precinct 1.
The Center Police Department advised this is an ongoing investigation and no additional information is available at this time.
According to Texas Department of Public Safety records, Burke is a lifetime sex offender and his last reported verification on record was from July 21, 2022 with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. In 2013, Burke was convicted with sexual assault in the fourth degree in Arkansas where the victim was a 14-year-old female.
Predator Poachers makes online profiles of minor children and publishes them on different social media websites where a predator can message and solicit them for sex.
A video of the encounter with James Alan Burke was made and lasted over 1 hour starting from the moment the group walked into the store with a decoy until after the Center PD showed up on scene. At 4 minutes into the video, Burke is approached by the interviewer just as he is showing the girl the bathroom door.
The interviewer tells Burke he has everything saved from his correspondence with the 13-year-old showing him a stack of papers of the messages. He adds he just wants to talk to him. One of his first questions was “Why were you bringing her to the bathroom?” Burke replies, “I actually wasn’t going to do anything, I really wasn’t, I just was going to meet her.” He added, “I was wanting to meet her, she seemed cool.”
At 12 minutes, the interviewer is telling Burke he understands he is employed and a worker which is good and Burke adds, “Not to mention I’m ordained.” The interviewer replies, “Oh, you’re an ordained minister” and Burke answers, “Pagan minister, yeah.” As the conversation continues, the interviewer keeps working to get Burke to confirm the messages are his. Burke claimed some of the messages being presented were not him because his account had been hacked.
Burke confirms at just over 25 minutes that there were some requests for pictures but they were just getting carried away type of things. The interviewer asks point blank, “Did you ask for nudes?” and Burke grimaces as he nods saying, “But thankfully she declined.” He then turned to the girl decoy and says, “Thank you, by the way” and grins. The interviewer reiterated, “Ok, but you asked for…” and Burke repeats in a louder tone, “It was requested but thankfully she had a better mind.” Burke then looks at the girl decoy and asks her how old she is and she replies 26. Burke then adds, “They still would have been legal nudes. Thankfully.” The interviewer replies, “Well this isn’t, you weren’t talking to her, this is just somebody that looks like her. But honestly you were requesting pictures of who you thought was 13. So, you know.”
The interviewer pushed Burke more regarding exactly what pictures he requested and Burke just kept saying “thankfully nothing was sent and I’m really glad.” Burke gave the excuse of it was just getting carried away. The more the interviewer read out loud the requests Burke made of the 13-year-old, Burke covered his eyes saying, “Yes, yes, yes, I know, I’m not going to deny it. I just don’t want to be in trouble. I really don’t.” The interviewer offered some sympathy and suggested maybe it’s too much time on the internet. Burke replies that he is going to delete all his accounts. Their conversation continued regarding the different social media platforms and the number of underage users online pretending to be older.
After checking on something at work, Burke returns to talk. The interviewer continued addressing the messages between Burke and the 13-year-old. The messages from the night before their scheduled meeting were very graphic descriptions of things they could do. One of the least graphic messages from Burke the interviewer read aloud included, “I crave you. You want me to be your first.”
The interviewer got more direct saying this isn’t rookie stuff and I think you got carried away. Burke confessed in reference to the 13-year-old, “I was not going to force it… if she was willing, yeah.” The interviewer asked, “Was sex going to happen if she was willing,” and Burke covered his month and responded, “Most likely. If I didn’t back out, because, you know, the fear of getting caught.”
At 1 hour and 4 minutes, the Center Police Department showed up on scene. Burke quickly talks to the officers saying they are just talking about stuff in Fort Smith, Arkansas when the interviewer says, “He invited a 13-year-old girl to his work to have sex with her and has child porn that he’d received.” Burke said, “There weren’t no porn.” A camera person with the citizen group added, “He’s also a sex offender on the run.”
As the officer is talking to the interviewer, Burke can be heard saying repeatedly, “I’m going to jail. I’m going to jail.” When the officer is informed Burke has a warrant out of Fort Smith, Arkansas, Burke responds, “It is an in state pickup only.”
Bullet entry of victims vehicle
March 10, 2023 - Sheriff Kevin W. Windham reports the arrest of Michael Barbee, 56, of Nacogdoches.
On March 9, 2023, at approximately 7:18 p.m., a call was received through the Telecommunications Center at the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) in reference to shots fired at the car wash near Timpson Quick Stop. Constable Precinct 5 Josh Tipton was first to arrive on scene and began gathering information from witnesses. Deputies arrived on scene, and learned that Barbee allegedly fired shots at two individuals, and that the gunfire struck an innocent bystander. The suspect and victim left the scene before deputies arrived, and SCSO investigators began searching for all involved parties.
At approximately 10pm, investigators located the shooting victim in Carthage, and interviewed him in reference to the incident. At approximately 11pm, investigators learned that the suspect was in Nacogdoches. Investigators contacted Nacogdoches Police Department (NPD), and NPD located the suspect at a gas station and detained him until SCSO investigators arrived. Once on scene, investigators arrested Barbee on three counts of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon. Barbee was transported back to Shelby County and booked into the Shelby County Jail where he is being held on bonds totaling $150,000 set by Donna Hughes, Justice of the Peace for Precinct 1.
The victim who sustained the gunshot wound was not critically injured.
The SCSO would like to thank Constable Precinct 5 Josh Tipton; Constable Precinct 4, Taylor Fanguy; Constable Precinct 2 Jamie Hagler; Constable Precinct 1 Zack Warr; Texas Department of Public Safety; Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office; Nacogdoches Police Department; and Carthage Police Department for their assistance with this situation.
Related article: Timpson Fuel Station Scene of Reported Multiple Gunshots (Updated)
Shelby County Sheriff's Investigator Aaron Jones is seen going over details with Sheriff's Deputy Cody Muse.
March 9, 2023 - Emergency personnel responded to the Timpson Quick Stop when multiple gun shots were reported from the area of the business’s car wash Thursday, March 9, 2023, around 7:18pm.
When law enforcement officials arrived at the scene of the incident, the suspect and potential victim had each fled the scene. The area of the car wash was cordoned off with crime scene tape as an investigation ensued.
Constable Josh Tipton, Investigator Chad Hooper, Constable Taylor Fanguy and Investigator Aaron Jones examine area of the Timpson Quick Stop Car Wash.
Officers with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department, Constables from Precincts 2,4, and 5 were all at the scene working together along with Texas Department of Public Safety.
The Shelby County Sheriff's Department has provided updated information on this incident and suspect, Michael Babee, is in custody. See more information here: Barbee in Custody Following Shooting Incident in Timpson
At around 9:16pm, officers performed a final sweep of the cordoned off area for any remaining evidence.
Related article: Barbee in Custody Following Shooting Incident in Timpson
At 914 PM CST, a severe thunderstorm was located 8 miles southwest of Minden, or 16 miles south of Henderson, moving east at 20 mph.
March 9, 2023 - The National Weather Service, Shreveport, LA issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning at 8:53pm, Thursday, March 9, 2023 until 10:00pm.
The Severe Thunderstorm Warning for is for Southwestern Panola County in northeastern Texas, Southern Rusk County in northeastern Texas, North central Nacogdoches County in eastern Texas, Northwestern Shelby County in eastern Texas, and East central Cherokee County in northeastern Texas.
Radar indicated at 8:52pm, a severe thunderstorm was located near New Salem, or 16 miles southwest of Henderson, moving east at 20 mph.
Hazardous weather includes 60 mph wind gusts and quarter size hail.
Impact includes hail damage to vehicles is expected. Expect wind damage to roofs, siding, and trees.
Locations impacted include Garrison, New Salem, Minden, Trawick, Cushing, Appleby, Mount Enterprise, Reklaw, Lawsonville, Glenfawn, Brachfield, Dotson and Laneville.
For your protection move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a building.
March 8, 2023 - Crews are beginning this week to install a new four-way stop on SH 7 at Loop 500 in Shelby County.
Work will include the installation of the new stop signs and advanced flashing beacons in Center after a traffic study was completed and it was determined that safety would be enhanced with the addition of a four-way stop. The location is currently a two-way stop. The project is expected to be completed in several weeks, weather permitting. Enforcement of the new stop signs will begin once work is completed.
Allstate Signal and Construction, Cypress TX, is serving as contractor for the $899,492.37 construction project that was approved by Texas Transportation Commissioners in August 2022.
Motorists should be aware of workers and equipment at the site. Reduce speed and obey all traffic control as the new stop signs are placed.
For more information, contact Rhonda.Oaks@txdot.gov or call (936) 633-4395.
Map of the projected burn area.
March 8, 2023 - Officials with the National Forests and Grasslands in Texas, Angelina Sabine Ranger District will be conducting a controlled burn today, March 8, 2023 in Shelby County in the location of Boles Field (East of Shelbyville). Ignition time is 10am and the size is 1,498 Acres. The burn type is hand and aerial ignitions and has an estimated completion time of 7pm.
- Smoke: Winds are out of the Southwest and drift smoke may be noticeable Northeast of Shelbyville.
- Forest and Unit: Sabine National Forest, Boles Field Northwest, Compartments 9,10,13, part of Block A (Everything West of FS RD 142).
Smoke will impact areas around the prescribed burn, and long-range drift smoke may be present during and after ignition operations.
Please drive with caution. Ground personnel will be operating in the area and smoke may impact visibility on local roads and highways near the burn unit.
For more information, contact the Angelina Sabine Ranger District at (936) 897-1068 or (409) 625-1940
U.S. Forest Service Prescribed Burn Tracker:
Southern Region Prescribed Burn Accomplishment Tracker (arcgis.com)
May 8, 2023 - On Sunday, March 5, 2023, the West Shelby County Volunteer Fire Department (WSCVFD) responded to a fire on the side of State Highway 7 near the roadside park. The fire was caused by a blown out tire on the trailer of an 18-wheeler. The fire burned along the ditch but was put out before it got out of hand.
Also, on Monday, March 6th, there was a single-vehicle crash caused when a Ford Explorer struck a deer crossing the highway. Thick fog was probably a contributing factor for the crash.
March 8, 2023 - County Road 3326 is now open.
February 7, 2023 - Commissioner Pct. 3 Stevie Smith has closed the east end of County Road 3326 for two weeks to build head walls.
March 8, 2023 - Commissioner Pct. 3 Stevie Smith has closed County Road 3286 for two weeks to build head walls.
March 8, 2023 - The Shelby County Commissioners allowed during their February 22, 2023 meeting, for the Shelby County Jail to accept certain food donations.
Don Moore, Shelby County Jail Administrator, spoke with the Shelby County Commissioners about receiving food donations for the jail to help reduce costs. He reminded the commissioners he spoke with the in November 2022 about the rising cost of food and that he would be seeking ways to lower the expense.
“Food’s going up, prices are going up, eggs were over $80 a week on eggs and the number of inmates that we’re housing none of that’s going away,” said Moore.
Moore named an egg farm (MPS) that is donating 30 dozen eggs a week, which is slated to make an $80 a week impact. He also has spoken to local farmers about donating beef and Moore stated Panola Packing could handle the slaughter. Tyson has also donated chicken.
A motion carried to approve accepting donated food products that are USDA approved.
Larry Joe Eaves addressed the court about his concerns the local County Government Offices should patronize local businesses instead of giving preferential treatment to businesses based outside of Shelby County and who pay little to no taxes in the county.
The commissioners listened to his concerns and received a policy from another county Eaves offered for review.
The meeting went into an executive session at 10:06am and returned to open session at 10:51am.
With no action to be taken following executive session the meeting adjourned at 10:52am.
Agenda items approved during the meeting include: 1. Pay weekly expenses. 2. Shelby County Jail to accept donated food products that are USDA approved. 3. Adjourn.