My question: If this officer admitted in March to falsifying documents in order to obtain search warrants, getting fired should be the least of his worries. Why isn't he being prosecuted? If he already admitted the offense, what could be the holdup?
Edinburg police uncovered the staggering list of suspected abuses in an internal investigation launched last year when a confidential police informant claimed he was kidnapped and beaten after Sgt. Santos Leal, 42, revealed his identity.
No charges have been filed against Leal, who admitted during a lie detector test earlier this year that he falsified warrants and probable cause affidavits to search suspected drug houses, according to the documents, which were obtained this week following an open records ruling from the Texas attorney general. ...
[I]n a March 26 memo to Diana Salas, the city's civil service director, the chief explained the grounds for Leal's suspension. Investigators found that the sergeant had used drug evidence with the wrong cases, disposed of narcotics evidence and improperly stored evidence envelopes in his desk.
The probe also revealed that Leal could not account for drugs allegedly purchased by a confidential informant and used by Leal as the basis for five search warrants.
During a subsequent polygraph test, Leal admitted that for at least two of those, he had merely cut and pasted information from other warrants and that no drug purchases were ever made, the memo states.
He also admitted to reprinting prior warrants from other cases and changing times, dates and locations to obtain legal permission to search other suspected drug houses, according to the memo.
"You admitted that you knew the information was incorrect, but left it as is and never took any corrective measures," Muñoz writes.
Edinburg police launched the internal investigation into the sergeant in October after one of his confidential informants claimed that he was kidnapped and beaten after Leal revealed his identity. ...
The informant also told investigators Leal allowed him to keep drugs he purchased as part of police investigations and encouraged him to deliver cocaine to homes the sergeant later searched, according to the memo. Leal is also suspected of allowing the informant to smoke cocaine and drink alcohol in his unmarked police car.
None of the cases the sergeant built with this confidential source in a two-year period ever resulted in prosecution.
Leal has contested his suspension from the department and is expected to plead his case before the city's civil service commission next week, Muñoz said.
Oh yeah ... Edinburg is in Hidalgo County. The DA there apparently doesn't cotton to prosecuting folks with badges.