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Federal judge rules Abilene Gold Exchange owner will remain in custody pending trial

By Ariana Garza, Weekend Anchor/Crime & Courts Reporter, agarza@ktxs.com
Published On: Dec 21 2012 12:11:19 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 22 2012 09:16:52 AM CST
charles camp 2
ABILENE, Texas -

A federal judge ruled Friday a convicted felon and co-owner of Abilene Gold Exchange, charged with possession of a firearm, will remain in custody pending trial. The other owner was killed last week as police served a search warrant at the business.

Charles Camp, 71, was arrested Dec. 14 on a federal charge of possession of a firearm by a felon in addition to four counts of third degree felony false entry or failure to enter tax records.

According to a federal affidavit, Camp was convicted of the possession and/or delivery of a controlled substance (marijuana) in 1982 in Williamson County and served 10 years in state prison.

Police served a search warrant Dec. 13--just one day before Camp's arrest--at the Abilene Gold Exchange on South Danville Drive.

Camp and co-owner Marcus Cass were being investigated for not following Texas law in reporting the business's precious metal transactions.

Police said Cass pulled a gun on them while they were serving the warrant and they shot him twice. He died at the scene.

According to the federal affidavit, Camp had a gun hidden in his pocket at the time.

Detectives later learned the owners also leased an office building adjacent to the business. They obtained additional search warrants.

Police Chief Stan Standridge wrote the following in a press release: "Results of those searches have revealed approximately $60,000 in currency, 131 firearms, 63,000 rounds of ammunition, as well numerous documents."

Friday afternoon, Camp underwent a federal detention hearing to determine whether bond would be set for the gun charge or if he would remain in federal custody.

Testimony revealed Camp admitted to having the gun in his pocket while police served the search warrant.

"You could not find more overwhelming evidence for the potential for conviction," Judge Scott Frost said.

A U.S. attorney argued Camp should remain in custody because he is a flight risk due to his routine visits and money transfers to his wife and friends in Costa Rica.

Camp's defense attorney, Randy Wilson, argued Camp is a compliant and non-violent member of society. He said Camp is not a flight risk since police have seized his assets as part of their investigation.

"I find this to be a difficult case," Frost said before delivering his ruling.

Frost ruled Camp will remain in custody pending trial and bond will not be set due to a federal hold.

A federal grand jury must indict Camp on the firearm possession charge to determine whether he will face trial.

Camp faces bond totaling $20,000 for the four counts of third degree felony false entry or failure to enter tax records.