Authorities recovered mail-in ballots, ballot applications and computer equipment from Carrollton mayoral candidate Zul Mirza Mohamed's home, according to public records available Friday.
Denton County sheriff’s deputies arrested Mohamed Thursday and charged him with ballot fraud after an investigation tied him to the alleged fraud Wednesday.
His attorney Shayan Elahi, said Mohamed was framed by political enemies.
“He’s not guilty,” Elahi said. “This seems like a scheme from the top.”
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Elahi cited involvement of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in the case.
The Lewisville Police Department and Texas Department of Public Safety were also involved in the investigation, Denton County Sheriff Tracy Murphree said.
According to an arrest affidavit, the investigation started Sept. 23 when Denton County Election officials noticed 70 mail-in ballot applications, supposedly from a nursing home, all requesting to be sent to a post office box at a Lewisville parcel business. The number of applications for that one address later grew to 84.
Murphree said 10 people his investigators contacted whose names were on the applications said they had not requested mail-in ballots.
“When we went to find out who rented the box, it turned out the box had been rented using a fictitious Texas driver’s license and fictitious University of Texas student ID,” Murphree said.
Records show deputies packed a tracking device in a box of mail-in ballots that they returned to the Lewisville address. A Denton County Sheriff’s Deputy working undercover as a clerk at the parcel business handed the box containing the ballots to a man who requested the mail for that rented box on Wednesday.
Authorities followed the man to an address in Carrollton that turned out to be the home of Zul Mohamed.
Records show deputies obtained a search warrant and recovered ballots, ballot applications and computer equipment. Ballot envelopes and voter registration applications for Dallas County were also recovered.
The city of Carrollton includes portions of both Denton and Dallas counties.
Murphree said additional charges could be filed in the future for the Dallas County ballots.
Mohamed faces 109 felony counts from the Denton County case.
Warrants for Mohamed’s arrest were signed on Thursday.
“It’s very alarming when the candidate himself was actually the one, doing everything to fraudulently vote,” Murphree said.
Late Friday, Mohamed was still in the Denton County Jail with bond set at $332,000.
“In this hyper-partisan environment, everybody is looking for a target and a scapegoat. But, I can assure you, Mr. Mohammed, when he has his day in court, you will know he is not guilty of this,” Elahi said.
The attorney said Mohamed’s family was working to arrange bail.