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Records: Teen fatally shot inside Longview drug house

By by Peggy Jones
Aug. 3, 2013 at 10 p.m.

A man charged with murder in the death of a 19-year-old was known to people inside a South Longview drug house as "Cush Ant" - a man who drove from Louisiana to bring marijuana - according to a criminal complaint filed in 124th District Court.

Paul Mengel, 27, was held Friday in the Gregg County Jail under $500,000 bond charged with murder in the fatal shooting of Joey Espy. Police say Espy was the man inside the Bonner Street home who opened the door to Mengel's knock on July 7.

The complaint against Mengel of Bossier City, La., provides details about the swift but deadly incident that caught a room full of people off-guard.

Five people - Espy and his girlfriend, two men and another woman - were inside the hous that Sunday afternoon.

Espy's girlfriend told detectives who answered her call to 911 that several people had come to the door to buy drugs while she was there with Espy and the others.

"She stated she knew that (Espy) and the others were operating the house as a 'dope house,' " the complaint filed by Longview officer Terry Davis states, "and they were selling 'blunts' (marijuana-filled cigars), baggies of marijuana and pills such as vicodin, hydrocodone and Xanax. While she was there, there were several people who came to the door to buy drugs."

The woman, who was wounded in the shooting, told officers that Espy's role was to meet people at the door, but another person actually handed over the drugs to the buyer. Still another person was "actually in charge of the dope house," the complaint reads.

About 5 p.m., all five were in the living room when there was a knock on the door.

Espy asked who it was, she recalled. The girlfriend heard an inaudible reply as Espy opened the door.

"A Hispanic-looking male entered the room," according to the complaint. "She states another male was with him, but this second male stayed at the doorway somewhat out of view."

The Hispanic male came into the room, went straight to the man who operated the drug house, pulled a gun and shouted for no one to move.

Then, she said, he started shooting.

"She states the Hispanic male shot Espy and then turned towards her and shot her in the leg," the complaints states. The girlfriend told detectives who found her lying on the floor bleeding when they arrived that the man fired another round at her head but missed.

She said the shooter and his companion ran away not taking anything - but the others, who had been with her all day, gathered up drugs and money and ran.

She "states she asked them to help her but they would not. They then fled the house," the report states.

Bleeding from a gunshot wound, the girlfriend got to her cellphone and called 911. She was taken by ambulance to the hospital after police arrived.

Neighbors told investigators they heard five to six shots fired about 5:10 p.m. and saw people running from the house.

Not long after the incident, detectives identified all the people who had been in the room - each admitting during questioning that it was used as a drug house, the complaint states.

One man admitted on a second interview that he had been "reluctant to tell the truth in his first interview because of his involvement in selling narcotics," the complaint states.

"He indicated he knew the shooter was a guy named Anthony Mengel from Shreveport. ... he states he did not know Mengel by any name other than "Ant" .. He admitted Mengel was a person that had sold marijuana to him at the house on Bonner St."

The man showed the detective an entry in his cellphone contact list for "Cush Ant" and a phone number with a 318 area code, the complaint states.

The second man told detectives "this person is the same person that had come to the house previously and sold 'cush' to them.

The second woman who had been in the room told police "the photos (on the phone) were photos of the male that they had been buying 'cush' from, and it was the same male that done the shooting at the house on Bonner," she stated.

She told police that in times in the past when Mengel would come to the house to sell the "cush," he was driving a green Ford Expedition" - which matched the description of a vehicle neighbors saw driving away after hearing the gunshots July 7.

Using statements from witnesses, neighbors and video surveillance, detectives said they identified Mengel, who was picked from a photo lineup shown to everyone who had been in the room.

Mengel was arrested in Bossier City this past week on the Longview warrant and brought to the Gregg County Jail on Monday.



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