GATESVILLE (June 19, 2014) A McLennan County woman was sentenced to probation Wednesday in connection with a bizarre extortion plot that targeted a former co-worker whose husband is a retired Department of Public Safety trooper.
Judge Trent Farrell, in Gatesville's 52nd District Court, ordered Sarah Regina Pollard, 45, to serve 3 years in state prison but then he probated that sentence on a charge of aggravated robbery.
Farrell also ordered her to pay a $1,000 fine and submit to psychological evaluation.
Coryell County District Attorney Dustin Boyd said given Pollard's record as an exceptional soldier during her time in the U.S. Army and the fact that she had no prior criminal record, the probation was appropriate.
McLennan County Chief Sheriff's Deputy Matt Cawthon said his department and the Texas Rangers began looking into the alleged plot last in May 2013 after the retired trooper brought it to their attention.
Cawthon said Pollard was arrested after Rangers and deputies served a search warrant at her Coryell County home.
Authorities recovered several items connected to what they say was a scheme to steal almost $30,000 from the former co-worker, who was approached by a woman who told her that they both were targets of a Mexican drug cartel, Cawthon said.
The woman told the victim that unless the couple handed over about $30,000 each, their children would be kidnapped, sodomized and then injected with AIDS-tainted blood.
The plot called for the victim to drive across the twin bridges on Highway 6 over Lake Waco, throw a waterproof sack containing some cash and a cashier's check into the lake and then drive on.
But after the victim's husband reported the plot, Cawthon said deputies constructed a "map" of the plan, the details of which led to the search of Pollard's home where a computer printer some printed copies of letters were recovered.
Cawthon said the case will be prosecuted in Coryell County because that is where Pollard was arrested.
Boyd said Texas Rangers did a phenomenal job on the investigation.
Boyd said his office plans to take the case to grand jury as quickly as possible.