Prosecutors say former Houston Police captain Mark Anthony Aguirre said he believed the man was transporting fraudulent ballots.

“I believe it’s a political prosecution,” Terry Yates, Aguirre’s attorney, told CNN affiliate KTRK.

Prosecutors say Aguirre was paid over a quarter million dollars by a private group called “Liberty Center for God and Country” to investigate alleged ballot schemes in the Houston area.

CNN has reached out to Hotze for comment.

According to the district attorney’s news release, Aguirre, 63, told authorities he had conducted surveillance for four days on an unidentified man driving a truck that he suspected had 750,000 fraudulent ballots inside. The release said Aguirre believed the man was “the mastermind of a giant (voter) fraud.”

Instead, prosecutors say the victim was an “innocent and ordinary” air-conditioner repairman.

“Aguirre ran his SUV into the back of the truck to get the technician to stop and get out,” the news release said, describing the October 19 incident. “When the technician got out of the truck, Aguirre, pointed a handgun at the technician, forced him to the ground and put his knee on the man’s back — an image captured on the body-worn camera of a police officer.”

Responding authorities found no ballots inside the vehicle, only air conditioner parts and tools, prosecutors said.

After an investigation, Houston police said they found the allegations of election fraud “unfounded” and referred the case to the district attorney’s office.

Aguirre had been paid more than $260,000 by the “Liberty Center” group, prosecutors alleged, and received about $211,400 the day following the incident.

He was arrested Tuesday and is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison, prosecutors said. He is currently at a Harris County jail facility with bond set at $30,000.

“He crossed the line from dirty politics to commission of a violent crime and we are lucky no one was killed,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a statement. “His alleged investigation was backward from the start — first alleging a crime had occurred and then trying to prove it happened.”

Yates, Aguirre’s attorney, told CNN affiliate KTRK, “He was working and investigating voter fraud, there was an accident. … A member of the car got out and rushed toward him and that’s where the confrontation took place. It’s very different than what you’re citing in the affidavit.”

The statement from prosecutors about Aguirre’s arrest came one day after the Electoral College voted to affirm Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States.

Despite the announcement of election results by media outlets and government officials, outgoing President Donald Trump has continued to claim that widespread voter fraud occurred during the 2020 election, and has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for a purported legal defense fund, despite official certifications that former Vice President Joe Biden won the presidential election.

CNN’s Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

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