HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - The person of interest identified in the investigation of an unlicensed residential facility on Long Meadow Drive in Southeast Houston has had multiple encounters with the Houston Police Department.
Officers Jason Llorente and Trammel McKnight are with the department's Mental Health Division Boarding Home Enforcement. Llorente had a thick folder with Carroll Richardson's name written across the front.
"We have well over 200 citations. This is his file for his boarding homes," he said holding up the folder.
Each citation was at least a $500 fee.
McKnight boarding facilities have to have a valid certificate of occupancy, a permit, and comply with 17 requirements.
"He's not just getting two or four citations. He's getting 17 citations every time that we go to one of these facilities," she explained.
They say they have shut down seven unlicensed boarding facilities run by Richardson.
"He'll close it down but he'll open up another one," added Llorente.
Their most recent encounter with Richardson was an arrest in November 201. He is charged with injury to a disabled person who lived at one of his boarding homes.
The current facility under scrutiny is outside the Houston city limits. The Harris County Sheriff's Office is leading the investigation.
Now, Richardson is identified as a person of interest in the investigation into a home in Southeast Houston where nearly 40 people with disabilities lived.
Llorente and McKnight say laws need to be changed to help them stop people like Richardson.
"What we would like to see is legislation that increases the penalty for operating an unpermitted boarding home," Llorente told FOX 26. "As it stands right now, we do have a city ordinance but that is only a Class C. What I would like to see is something a little bit higher than that."
The law should be statewide, he added.
Another challenge the officers describe is charging those involved in the illegal operations.
Also, they say, there are caseworkers who will continue to refer people to facilities like those operated by Richardson.
"[The residents] are all on fixed incomes. Probably one check away from being homeless so they all deserve somewhere to stay and they look for these boarding homes," McKnight said.
The officers are working on a list for the public of all the non-compliant boarding homes.
FOX 26 contacted the attorney who is representing Richardson in the injury to a disabled person from November 2019.
She sent the following statement:
“There is a lot of inaccurate information being circulated regarding Mr. Richardson, however, I have seen nothing concrete from law enforcement, only what the media is reporting. I am not in a position to comment further at this time.”