Fugitive in Central Texas firearms case now in federal custody

Two McLennan County sheriff's investigators transported Trent Freeman from the Navarro County Justice Center to the federal courthouse in Waco on Tuesday. (Jail photo/file)
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NAVARRO COUNTY, Texas (KWTX) A fugitive wanted in connection with a Central Texas firearms conspiracy was in federal custody Tuesday evening.

On Tuesday, two McLennan County sheriff's investigators transported Trent Freeman from the Navarro County Justice Center to the federal courthouse in Waco.

He was ordered held without bond pending a detention hearing on Nov. 26.

Freeman was named in a federal warrant charging conspiracy to possess stolen firearms, according to online records.

The head of the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division, Capt. Steve January, says Freeman went into hiding after he was named in a federal indictment in connection with a multi-county theft ring, involving at least four other suspects, that stemmed from a home burglary in McLennan County in June.

"When you're looking at getting a gang of thugs, that are gun runners from one county to the other, off the street, you're making both counties safer places to live," said January.

Along with Freeman, January says Rosa Lee Clark Kolar and her boyfriend Lucas Tighe, William James, and Kandace Benningfield were named in a sealed federal indictment in November 2019 charging conspiracy to possess stolen firearms.

Tighe, James and Kolar were also indicted for possession of stolen firearms.

Tighe was also indicted for aiding and abetting and James for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Freeman was the only one who was able to bond out on the original state charges, and the only one still at large following the federal indictments, January said.

The other four were, and remain, in custody, he said.

After McLennan County authorities notified the Navarro County Sheriff's Office that Freeman was believed to be in the area, deputies picked him up at a residence on NW 3322 in the Brushie Prairie community.

Sheriff Elmer Tanner said the deputies were familiar with the suspect from previous investigations with the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office earlier this year, and he was arrested without incident.

"This is just another example of agencies working together to help keep our community safe," said Tanner.

"Good job to all."