His trial lasted a week but a jury took only 8 minutes to convict a 42-year-old Weatherford man charged with engaging in organized criminal activity.
The jury took another 20 minutes on Monday to impose a 25-year sentence and a $10,000 fine for the accused, Patrick Birch Calvert.
Calvert was convicted of conspiring with six other people to steal between $30,000 and $150,000 worth of vehicles, trailers, and tools from various Parker and Young County victims between November 2015 and February 2016, according to a news release from the Parker County District Attorney’s Office.
Calvert was what people normally call a “fence,” said Susan Pruett, the Parker County prosecutor who tried the case with Abby Placke, Parker County assistant district attorney. Fences typically sell stolen goods to the public.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Many of the prosecution’s witnesses were not angels and had criminal records themselves, Placke said.
“However, that is the kind of person who would associate with Mr. Calvert and who would bring him stolen items,” Placke said. “We did our best to corroborate that evidence with phone records, OfferUp.com and Ebay.com postings by Mr. Calvert, and DNA evidence tying him to a chopped up box truck.”
Calvert will not be eligible for release from prison on parole until 2028, said Jeff Swain, who is also a Parker County assistant district attorney.
“Among the things that Mr. Calvert was involved in stealing was a trailer that kids with the Peaster High School FFA manufactured and used in various shows,” Swain said. “Honestly, stealing stuff from kids is just a really sorry thing to do.”