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Local parole officer arrested on drug charge after allegedly receiving pills from parolee

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Kyle Martin, Staff Writer

This story has been updated. 

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Denton police arrested 52-year-old Texas parole Officer Michael Lee Bush on Tuesday after he allegedly received hydrocodone pills from a parolee during a controlled delivery, according to Denton police.

He was arrested on a charge of possession of a controlled substance of less than 28 grams. Hydrocodone is a prescribed pain killer.

Michael Lee BushCourtesy photo
Michael Lee Bush
Courtesy photo

"Investigators were made aware that Michael had requested an unscheduled meeting with a parolee on [Tuesday] and anticipated it might be for the purpose of obtaining more hydrocodone pills," the release said. 

Bush, an officer with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, was seen by Denton police about noon Tuesday receiving three 10 milligram/325 milligram hydrocodone and acetaminophen pills from a parolee in the parking lot of the district parole office where he worked in the 1100 block of Teasley Lane in Denton, according to an arrest affidavit. 

Investigators set up the controlled delivery with Lougene Catlin, a parolee under Bush's supervision who had been giving the officer hydrocodone pills, police said. The affidavit said on Tuesday, Catlin advised investigators Bush wanted to meet for lunch and Catlin believed Bush would want the pills.

At 10:34 a.m. Tuesday, Catlin told investigators, Bush called him to come to the parole office for a urinalysis, according to the affidavit. Catlin later met with investigators to stage the controlled delivery, according to the affidavit. 

After three of the pills were marked and placed into Catlin's vehicle, he drove to the parole office and met with Bush, leaving the pills in his vehicle, the affidavit said. At 12:24 p.m. Tuesday, Bush and Catlin exited the parole office and made an exchange of the drugs in the parking lot, outside Catlin's vehicle, according to the affidavit. Investigators watched for the exchange and then arrested Bush and took him to Denton City Jail. 

"We anticipated that there might be an exchange made, so we had people watch him," Denton police spokesman Officer Shane Kizer said.

Catlin is on parole after serving prison time for drug-related and other convictions. He was released on parole in 2004. 

Catlin said Bush knew he had a prescription for pain pills from a prior work-related injury, which left him disabled, and knew he had prior addiction issues, and intimidated Catlin to get the pills.

Bush would sometimes get the pills for free, Catlin said, and other times he would pay up to $100 for them, getting anywhere from three to 20 pills at a time. 

"It got to the point where I was scared, and he saw that," Catlin said. "He started threatening me."

Over the past several months, Catlin said he received calls from Bush asking for pills and that Bush would call his family members to ask where he was, demanding that Catlin contact him.  He said he eventually changed his phone number.

Bush is being held at Denton City Jail with bail set at $5,000, according to city records. 

KYLE MARTIN can be reached at 940-566-6897.