By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

CROCKETT – A search warrant for Room 417 of the Knights Inn, located at 1600 E. Loop 304 in Crockett, was executed on Tuesday Sept. 25 and resulted in the arrest of a 37-year-old Crockett resident on obscenity charges.

Steven Lee Johnson was taken into custody and was charged with obscenity, under Section 43.23 (f) of the Texas Penal Code, after the search warrant execution yielded several items of an obscene nature.

“According to the search warrant that was being executed,” a probable cause statement indicated, “officers are commanded to enter the suspected place Room 417, vehicles and premises described to search for and – if found – seize electronics, computers, laptop computers, desktop computers, cell phones, tablets, and SD cards of all sizes.”

Officers from the Crockett Police Department arrived at the Knights Inn at approximately 8:30 pm to serve the warrant. The door to Room 417 was partially opened, but according to the affidavit, CPD officers knocked on the door, identified themselves and announced their intentions to serve said warrant.

Johnson met the officers at the door and gave his consent to search the hotel room. During the search, Johnson was placed in hand restraints for “… his safety and the safety of the officers present,” the probable cause statement reported.

CPD Officer Jeffery Dean was assisting with the warrant and recognized Johnson from a previous encounter in the Sonic parking lot where Johnson’s vehicle was involved in a non-reportable accident, the legal document stated.

Dean reported he also remembered the vehicle involved in the minor collision as a Mitsubishi Lancer, which was parked outside the hotel room. Due to the breadth of the warrant, Dean began a search of Johnson’s car which yielded a laptop computer “… a small black in color LG cellular phone and multiple documents which were determined to be AT&T billing statements belonging to Johnson.”

The probable cause document also reported, “The billing statements were determined to be connected to an iPhone possibly used by Johnson to contact a victim during a possible protective order violation.”

After searching the vehicle, Dean returned to the hotel room and saw a display of 11 adult toys laid on the bed.

Under Section 43.23 (f) of the Texas Penal Code, a person has committed an offense if he or she “… possesses six or more obscene devices or identical or similar obscene articles is presumed to possess them with intent to promote the same.”

The electronic devices were marked as evidence and as the search continued, Johnson was transported to the Houston County Jail where he was booked into custody on the obscenity charge, a Class A misdemeanor.

According to Section 12.21 of the Texas Penal Code, “An individual adjudged guilty of a Class A misdemeanor shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $4,000; confinement in jail for a term not to exceed one year; or both such fine and confinement.”

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at wjohnson@messenger-news.com.