Appeal from the 35th District Court Brown County, Texas Trial
Court Cause No. CR23107
consists of: Wright, C.J., Willson, J., and Bailey, J.
jury found Charles Burt guilty of engaging in organized
criminal activity because it found that he was part of a
conspiracy to distribute illegal drugs in Brown County. The
jury assessed his punishment at confinement for life. We
first issue on appeal, Appellant challenges the sufficiency
of the evidence to support his conviction. In his second
issue, he asserts that his conviction in this case is barred
by double jeopardy because of a previous conviction in
Tarrant County. Within his first issue, Appellant also
complains about the trial court's denial of two motions
and a writ of habeas corpus, about jury charge error, and
about improper closing arguments by the State. Within his
second issue, he makes mention of a motion to quash and also
complains about the trial court's action when it ordered
consecutive sentencing. We affirm.
The Charged Offense
grand jury alleged that Appellant, along with some 35 other
individuals, conspired to commit the offense of possession of
a controlled substance with intent to deliver, and it
indicted him for engaging in organized criminal activity. A
person commits the offense of engaging in organized criminal
[I]f, with the intent to establish, maintain, or participate
in a combination or in the profits of a combination or as a
member of a criminal street gang, the person commits or
conspires to commit one or more of the following: . . . (5)
unlawful manufacture, delivery, dispensation, or distribution
of a controlled substance or dangerous drug.
Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 71.02(a)(5) (West Supp. 2016);
see Nguyen v. State, 1 S.W.3d 694, 695 (Tex. Crim.
App. 1999). A combination is defined as "three or more
persons who collaborate in carrying on criminal
activities." Penal § 71.01(a); Nguyen, 1
S.W.3d at 695.
Evidence at Trial
August 2013, Carri Vickers, who had tattoos that related to
the Aryan Brotherhood and the Aryan Circle and was a
"featherwood, " and Appellant, a member of the
Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, began a romantic relationship.
Appellant and Vickers were also involved in the sale of
illegal drugs, including methamphetamine. Appellant provided
"protection" to Vickers. Vickers supplied
methamphetamine to Chad Cooper, Auston Welker, and Ben Smith.
Vickers stated that, per transaction, she sold approximately
one pound of methamphetamine to Cooper. Vickers denied that
she conducted illegal drug transactions in Fort Worth.
Appellant's actions in Tarrant County and his
subsequent convictions in that county for three
enforcement personnel for the City of Fort Worth arranged a
"special operation detail" that involved Vickers. A
confidential informant contacted Vickers and arranged to buy
ten ounces of gamma hydroxybutyrate acid (GHB); they were to
meet at a gas station on Interstate 30 in Fort Worth.
Appellant accompanied Vickers to the transaction, which was
to occur in Fort Worth, and he brought 100 grams of
methamphetamine with him for Vickers to sell to Cooper.
Vickers and Appellant arrived at the gas station in Fort
Worth to complete the drug deal, but they left. Law
enforcement officials pursued Appellant and Vickers in a
lengthy highspeed chase on the interstate. After
Vickers's rental car hit another vehicle and stopped in a
grocery store parking lot, she jumped out and attempted to
escape on foot. The chase ended when Vickers pointed her gun
at an officer; she was shot and taken to the hospital.
Appellant also fled on foot, but he was quickly caught and
taken into custody.
pleaded guilty in Tarrant County to three offenses: (1)
possession with intent to deliver more than four grams but
less than 200 grams of methamphetamine, (2) unlawful
possession of a firearm by a felon, and (3) evading arrest.
The trial court accepted his guilty pleas, assessed
punishment at confinement for fifteen years for those three
offenses, and sentenced him.
The grand jury in Brown County indicted Appellant for the
separate offense of engaging in organized criminal
Appellant was convicted in Tarrant County, the grand jury in
Brown County indicted him for the offense of engaging in
organized criminal activity by conspiring to commit the
offense of possession of a controlled substance with the
intent to deliver. Appellant's trial counsel moved to
quash the indictment on the ground that the indictment did
not contain any allegation that Appellant committed any
specific act in Brown County that furthered organized
criminal activity in that county. The trial court denied the
motion to quash. Appellant's counsel also sought a writ
of habeas corpus and claimed that the organized criminal
activity statute was unconstitutional as applied to
Appellant. The trial court denied the relief.
trial, after the State rested, defense counsel moved for a
directed verdict in which he alleged that the State had
failed to produce evidence of any overt act committed by
Appellant in Brown County that furthered the conspiracy. The
trial court denied Appellant's motion. At the end of
trial, Appellant requested a jury charge instruction that an
overt act must have been committed by Appellant, but the
trial court overruled that request. In addition, the trial
court denied Appellant's request for a limiting