Canadians Recognize Texas Ranger Nick Hanna for his Help Solving FLDS Cases in Canada
SAN ANGELO, TX — Texas Ranger Nick Hanna, Company E San Angelo, and the Texas Ranger Division each received a Certificate of Recognition from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) last Thursday, according to the Texas DPS.
Sergeant Terry Jacklin of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police presented the awards at the Public Safety Commission (PSC) meeting for assistance in developing cases in Canada based on the 2008 Texas Rangers investigation of the Fundamentalist Group of Latter Day Saints, known as the FLDS, in Schleicher County, Texas.
During the investigation, it was discovered underage girls were transported from Canada to locations in the U.S. for the purpose of “spiritual marriages” with much older men, resulting in the sexual assault of girls as young as 12-years-old.
Ranger Hanna, the case agent and evidence custodian for the FLDS cases in Texas, assisted RCMP Agents developing cases in Canada. To date, this evidence has helped the RCMP bring several FLDS members to trial, resulting in criminal convictions for the transportation of underage girls across international lines for the purpose of sexual abuse.
The FLDS saga in Eldorado dominated local and regional news for about two years, starting with the raid on the compound in 2008. Trials of church leaders for their involvement with minor girls continued through the end of the last decade.
He said, "We had some underage girls who were brought over from Canada, so I reached out to the RCMP for assistance. The 11- and 12-year-old girls were being brought across for the purpose of sexual abuse, who would then be married off to these 60-year-old-men. I reached across to the RCMP to get some simple documents such as birth certificates to establish the dates and ages of these young girls. Lo and behold, that started a dialog with our two agencies, and once we completed our investigations down here in Texas, they were able to plug into our evidence and they've made some cases up in Canada."
Hanna also described how, about a year ago, he flew up to British Columbia and testified in the supreme court in Canada, which he described as "a pretty neat experience."
In their courtrooms, you actually address the judge as 'My Lord' instead of 'Your Honor,' he said. "The prosecution and the defense each wear a robe with a little goblet-type thing hanging down on the robe, and instead of asking questions from each desk, they approach a podium. Their court lasts two hours in the morning with a 15 minute break and then 2 hours in the evening, so you get 3 1/2 hours of court time; whereas here, in Texas, we would go 12-13 hours sometimes, so I was a little surprised with the pace of things."
As for the verdict, he was told the judge has 90 days to render his verdict.
"It was a cool experience, as you never know what you're going to get into once these things start," said Hanna.
The DPS recognized others from throughout the state Thursday. Among them:
Trooper James Glaze, Texas Highway Patrol–Plano, received a Life Saving Award and Dallas Police Department Officer Penelope Bernal and Dallas Police Department Cpl. Charles Jeffers each received a Director’s Award. On July 2, 2017, Trooper Glaze received a call from the North Texas Tollway Authority regarding a vehicle traveling northbound in the southbound lanes in Dallas. Glaze responded to the area and located a motorcycle rider with a severe, life-threatening leg injury. Cpl. Jeffers was applying a leather belt as a tourniquet to stop the profuse bleeding. Trooper Glaze immediately began assisting. As Cpl. Jeffers tired from the exertion of keeping enough pressure to control the bleeding, Officer Bernal took over from her fellow officer while Trooper Glaze utilized Officer Bernal’s tourniquet, after the original tourniquet broke. Dallas Fire-Rescue personnel arrived on scene shortly after Trooper Glaze successfully applied the second tourniquet and took over rescue efforts. The trauma surgeon that treated the victim indicated the application of the leather belt and subsequent tourniquets were instrumental in saving the victim’s life until he was transported to a higher level of care.
Former Trooper Emory King Jr. received a Purple Heart. On October 20, 2014, Trooper King was completing an inspection on a truck tractor/semi-trailer on the improved shoulder of State Highway 288 near the city of Angleton (Brazoria County). After completing the roadside inspection, Trooper King returned to his patrol unit to type the inspection report, but his patrol unit was struck from behind by a separate truck pulling a loaded flatbed semi-trailer. The collision crushed King’s patrol unit, pinning him inside. Trooper King was extracted from the patrol unit and subsequently transported by life-flight to a hospital in Houston. Due to his extensive injuries, Trooper King has had to undergo extensive rehabilitation and is still impacted by injuries sustained in the wreck. Trooper King resigned from the department in October 2015.
Trooper Danny Shaw Jr., Highway Patrol–Terrell, received a Purple Heart. On Nov. 25, 2016, Trooper Shaw was deployed to the Rio Grande Valley in support of border operations. Trooper Shaw, and other state and federal officers, were patrolling the border in Starr County when gunfire was reported on the Mexican side of the border. The gunfire was suspected to be an exchange of gunfire between the Mexican military and three individuals attempting to illegally gain entry into the U.S. Trooper Shaw responded to the area with the intent of monitoring and preventing the violence from crossing into the U.S. While monitoring the situation, an unknown person from the Mexican side of the border fired upon the Texas-based officers. Trooper Shaw was struck in the right hip, causing significant injuries, which he is still recovering from.
The Intelligence and Counterterrorism-Texas Ranger Analytical Support Unit, of Austin, received a Unit Citation. Since January of 2011, the Texas Ranger Analytical Support Unit has dedicated itself to supporting the Texas Ranger Division, including the Missing Persons Clearinghouse and the Unidentified Persons and DNA Unit. In 2016, the Unit conducted 4,655 analytical assists, resulting in identifying three missing persons, eight unidentified located persons, and 33 suspects. The unit supports the department’s efforts regarding high-risk missing juveniles and attempted abductions throughout the state. The Unit has also developed a great working relationship with the U.S. Department of State to help identify and locate missing persons and fugitives. During the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, the unit supported efforts by state and local agencies locating next of kin or children separated from their families. Analyst Supervisor Heidi Prather; and Crime Analysts Teresa Becker, Susan Burroughs, Courtney Fowler, Camila Plaisted, Melanie Schramm, and Lance Fuller were recognized as part of the Unit Citation.
“The awards we presented today (last Thursday) epitomize Texas at its finest,” said Director McCraw. “Each of the award recipients performed admirably with bravery and dedication in varying situations, and we couldn’t be more proud of the efforts by these outstanding men and women.”