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Houston Political Activist Potentially Facing 4 Years In Jail
All over some weird voter fraud theory.
Steven Hotze, a Houston-based QAnon conspiracy supporter, may be looking at 4 years of jail time for his role in an incident surrounding an a/c repairman.
Hotze has long been involved in Texas politics. He’s been a major donor for figures like Senator John Cornyn, donating $14,248 to his campaign. He’s also been anti-LGBTQP+, which some say is ironic considering Hotze’s private activities (a story for another time), and pushed heavily for the Texas’ bathroom bill that failed.
In 2020, Hotze hired Mark Aguirre, a fired Houston Police officer, for private investigation work. Hotze and Aguirre held a meeting with well-known investigator and media consultant Wayne Dolcefino to discuss the alleged voter fraud schemes Hotze was alleging.
But even as they promised to show Dolcefino video and audio proof of voter fraud schemes in the county, the two investigators working for Hotze never provided it.
“Where this thing went off the rails, I have no idea,” said Dolcefino, who says he wasn’t a part of Hotze’s investigation.
Dolcefino described Aguirre as a “media-friendly” person who “likes to cause some drama.” His involvement in Hotze’s investigation into voter fraud made sense, Dolcefino said, in that Hotze wanted private investigators who would be amenable to looking into his pet causes.
Aguirre would then go on to surveil an air-conditioner installer cargo truck for several days, claiming that it was part of the election fraud conspiracy theory he’d been pitching.
On October 17th at 5:30AM, Aguirre would allegedly run the repairman off the road and then point his gun at him while having his two companions search the repairman’s truck. Aguirre expected the truck to hold 750,000 mail-in ballots, but instead it held air conditioning parts.
Aguirre was arrested and pleaded not guilty. He was paid $266,400 by Hotze’s group for surveillance work.
Later, Hotze would be charged in connection with the a/c repairman incident. He said under oath that he had no knowledge of surveillance or investigation of the a/c repairman. This claim was later contradicted by a transcript of a call made by Hotze to the US Attorney for the Southern District of Texas, Ryan Patrick.
Hotze claimed that private investigators funded by his nonprofit group had been trailing a mysterious white van as it shuttled phony ballots around the city in an effort to rig the upcoming election. He asked if federal authorities would help stop the van and apprehend its driver, but he added that one of his hard-nosed investigators was prepared to do the job himself, according to the filing by prosecutors in Harris County that included a transcript of the exchange.
“In fact, he told me last night, ‘hell … the guy’s gonna have a wreck tomorrow night. I’m going to run into him and I’m gonna make a citizen’s arrest,” Hotze told the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Texas, Ryan Patrick, a Trump appointee, who recorded the conversation.
Now, according to released court documents we’ve received, Hotze has been offered a settlement agreement of 4 years in jail or a presentence investigation.
Hotze’s most recent political activity was a lawsuit against Paxton’s impeachment gag order.
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