This story was updated at 2:38 p.m. to include bond information.
CARROLLTON — The Denton County Sheriff’s Office and other Texas agencies have arrested and charged a Carrollton mayoral candidate with 109 felonies related to voter fraud, according to a news release.
Zul Mirza Mohamed was arrested Tuesday in Carrollton after investigators obtained a search warrant for his residence. Mohamed is currently sitting in the Denton County Jail, charged with 25 counts of unlawful possession of a ballot/ballot envelope without request of the voter — a second-degree felony — and 84 counts of fraudulent use of a mail ballot application — a third-degree felony.
His bail is set at $332,500.
The release says the Denton County Elections Office notified the sheriff’s office on Sept. 23 of possible fraud with absentee ballot applications. Someone had requested the ballots be sent to a post office box in Lewisville, alleged to belong to a nursing home, but investigators learned the Carrollton residents whose ballots had been requested had not requested those ballots.
The ballots were obtained with a fictitious Texas driver’s license and fictitious University of North Texas student ID, according to the release.
Investigators watched and followed Mohamed to the 1600 block of Bennington Drive in Carrollton after learning that the box of requested ballots was picked up at the facility, the release states.
The release says the investigators located the box with requested ballots — several of which had been opened — as well as the Texas driver’s license inside the residence on Bennington Drive after they obtained a search warrant.
Each second-degree felony is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Each third-degree felony is punishable up to a 10-year prison sentence and a fine up to $10,000.
Mohamed is running against incumbent Mayor Kevin Falconer, who was elected in 2017.
Denton County elections administrator Frank Phillips said to his knowledge, this is the first time his office has contacted the sheriff’s office regarding any type of voter fraud. Phillips first served as elections administrator from 2009 until 2016, then returned in 2018.
The Texas Attorney General’s office has prosecuted 457 cases of election fraud since 2004, with 97 stemming from 2018. Sixty-three cases from 2018 are still pending prosecution, and 75 cases of election fraud are currently under investigation.
Mohamed’s arrest comes a few weeks after an East Texas county commissioner and three associates were arrested and accused of committing voter fraud in the 2018 primary election. The four defendants face 134 felony charges regarding organized election fraud, illegal voting, fraudulent use of an application for a mail-in ballot, tampering with a governmental record and election fraud.
This is a developing story. Additional updates will be posted at DentonRC.com.