I want to recognize you and your colleagues at the Outdoor Advertising Association of Texas for your hard work and continued commitment to public service in our community. On behalf of the FBI Houston Field Office, I wish to express my sincere appreciation for the timely and critical assistance provided during several recent fugitive investigations. With the help of Outdoor Advertising Association of Texas member companies Clear Channel Outdoor and Lamar Advertising we were able to quickly and safely apprehend two dangerous federal fugitives within the past several months.
The timely assistance has been a great tool in our efforts to successfully and safely apprehend violent fugitives in our area. Notably, in January, the Outdoor Avertising Association of Texas promptly featured fugitive John Christopher Ferguson on Clear Channel Outdoor digital billboards throughout the greater Houston area and across Texas. Ferguson was wanted for a series of federal charges involving the production of child pornography. The digital billboards began publishing Ferguson’s photograph on Wednesday, January 20, 2016. By the following day, the fugitive was in communication with our office making arrangements to surrender without incident to our agents in Houston, Texas. On Friday, March 11, 2016, Clear Channel Outdoor and Lamar Advertising began publishing a wanted serial bank robber on digital billboards across Texas through the Outdoor Advertising Association of Texas. The armed bank robber was wanted for robbing at least six banks in three Texas cities over the past year. Within two weeks, a tip provided to law enforcement resulted in the robber’s identification and arrest on March 24, 2016. Once again, it was the safest possible outcome for law enforcement and our community.
Additionally, we continue to reap valuable successes in our multi-agency anti-gang initiative, the www.stophoustongangs.org campaign. It is efforts like this that are helping to raise awareness and keep our streets safe of violent criminals. The FBl’s partnership with the Outdoor Advertising Association of Texas for digital and traditional billboard use has been an asset to us here in Houston and across the country. We thank you for your service to our community and for the assistance to our personnel.