It was a scene that made headlines: Occupy Houston protesters formed a human chain to block the Port of Houston entrance.
Using PVC pipes, the protesters locked their arms together in "dragon sleeves". That didn't stop Houston Police officers from arresting them in December 2011.
If they hadn't used those pipes, the protesters would have been slapped with a misdemeanor. Instead, they got felony charges because under Texas law, those pipes were criminal instruments.
"It was big, big mouth that got him down here," attorney Greg Gladden said.
Gladden, who is representing one of the Occupy protesters, is talking about Austin Police Officer Shannon Dowell. He said Dowell set those protesters up.
Dowell was one of three undercover APD officers within Occupy Austin, the same group that ended up in the Port of Houston.
Gladden said the officers designed and built those "dragon sleeves" that got the protesters in so much trouble.
"Dowell was bragging to the wrong people about setting these kids and they tipped us off," Gladden said.
Dowell was ordered to appear in court in Houston but did not testify in the protesters' trial.
Assistant APD Chief Sean Minnix was in Houston but said little to clear up his officers' role and why they infiltrated Occupy Austin.
"Apparently some items were taken from Austin to the Port of Houston and used here that were connected to an undercover operation in Austin," Minnix said.
Occupy Austin members claim Dowell specifically encouraged them to ramp up their protest efforts.
"This man would attend our meetings, pull me aside and say, we need to do more aggressive actions," Dave Cortez said.
Those allegations infuriated the presiding Harris County judge. She said she was floored by the officers' involvement.
"It was determined that plain-clothes officers blending in was necessary for the safety of the participants and the community," Minnix said.
Dowell is expected back in court in three weeks.
The seven protesters charged in the felony case maintain their charges should be dismissed because of the officers' roles.