Houston News & Search
Photo: Steve Gonzales, Steve Gonzales / Houston Chronicle
Police and federal investigators Sunday afternoon swarmed a quiet Rice University-area neighborhood that was the site of an FBI raid four years ago.
Houston Police said they were responding to a “special assignment” in the 2000 block of Albans around 3 p.m., along with the FBI and ATF.
The agencies wouldn’t give details on why, but said they were “lawfully present conducting law enforcement operations” that are “in the interest of public safety,” according to the FBI.
“Since the matter is ongoing, we are unable to provide additional details at this time,” the agency added.
Just after 4 p.m., law enforcement officers wearing camouflage and carrying long guns gathered along the upscale street following a robot as neighbors came outside to watch the hubbub.
“This is a big deal for our neighborhood,” said Mike Leath, who lives nearby. Around 5 p.m., law enforcement teams pulled out a battering ram and drew close to a brick house that seemed to be the focus.
Half an hour later, an FBI evidence team arrived, and by 7:30 p.m. authorities said they planned to be at the scene all night.
Back in 2013, feds raided a home in the same block looking for chemicals intended to make “tear gas or nerve gas,” a law enforcement source told the Chronicle at the time. Court documents later revealed the substance was picric acid, a military-grade explosive.
The home that was the center of the furor four years ago belonged to Cecily E. Horton, a stalwart of the local art community, and her husband, Andrew Schneck. But the focus of the raid was the couple’s son, then-22-year-old Andrew Cecil Earhart Schneck.
In the same sweep, authorities raided two other spots, including one in the Memorial area. The next day, FBI agents touched off two controlled detonations at a home on Fall River owned by Horton at the time.
The following year, the younger Schneck was sentenced to five years of probation after pleading guilty in federal court to knowingly storing high explosives. In 2016, a judge agreed to release him from probation ahead of schedule.
Authorities did not indicate whether Sunday’s actions were in any way related to the past raid.
Houston News & Search