HOUSTON – People who live in the Yorktown Apartments in The Galleria say they are still in shock after learning that their neighbor — 34-year-old now former HPD officer James Norman — was arrested and charged with running a methamphetamine ring out of his apartment.
“If that is true that is really unacceptable, I would say,” said one neighbor who did not want to be identified.
Norman’s fellow narcotics officers arrested him, along with Abelino Lemm, in a sting operation on April 4.
Documents reveal that Norman and Lemm were roommates and also involved romantically.
Prosecutors say Lemm sold an undercover officer 59 grams of meth for $1,200 outside the apartment complex.
After police arrested him, investigators say they entered the apartment where they found glass pipes used for drugs on a coffee table. As the search continued, they spotted a blue container on a computer table that held 4.4 grams of methamphetamine along with a scale and plastic baggies typically used in narcotics trafficking, authorities said.
The documents also state Norman voluntarily admitted to knowing about the drugs and to smoking meth earlier in that day.
Not only are neighbors in shock, some refuse to believe the charges.
“Until proven, I don’t think so he’s guilty at all,” says another neighbor who also did not want to be identified. “HPD officers. Not possible.”
An HPD spokesperson says Norman was relieved from duty with pay on April 4 pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation into criminal activity.
Norman joined the Houston Police Department in 2013 and at the time of his arrest was assigned to the South Gessner Patrol Division.
He has been charged with possession of a controlled substance.