Grand Jury Indicts Constable Rust On 3 Charges
A Smith County grand jury today indicted Precinct 3 Constable Dustin Rust on two felony counts and one misdemeanor charge in relation to a private security business, attorney John Haring said.
A special grand jury today heard evidence against Rust and his deputies in a case involving an unlicensed private security business, according to Rust and his father, Donn, a Smith County sheriff's candidate.
Witnesses were called from Rust's office and the Department of Public Safety to testify in the case, according to multiple sources.
Rust's office came under fire in February when Texas Rangers and Department of Public Safety Private Security Division officers arrested deputies Thomas Burnes, 37; Monty Ward Jr., 27; Justin Stockwell, 31; and Mark Pierce, 53, on Class A misdemeanor charges of operating a private security company without a license.
Dustin Rust, who has not been charged, has denied any involvement in the security business.
Burnes, Stockwell and Pierce all have given affidavits in the case pointing to Rust as the person instructing them to work private security and telling them it was legal.
The Rusts have argued since the arrests that the case is politically motivated because he and his son are both running for office.
Donn Rust has posted on his Donn Rust of Smith County Sheriff Facebook page: “Looks like our troubled (District Attorney) Matt Bingham is going to charge Dustin Rust and arrest him just weeks before the election. No this not political. Just a few weeks ago Mr. Bingham said Dustin would not be charged or go to the grand jury or be arrested.”
Bingham called Lance Larison, a Longview attorney, to act as the special prosecutor in the case and referred all questions about the case to Larison.