Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Did Los Zetas infiltrate Collin County law enforcement?

Not long ago I asked "What's the matter with Plano?" and the Collin County justice system, but ... Holy crap! This Dallas News story("Mexican drug cartel may have had help from Collin deputy constable," July 15) alleges a deputy constable in Collin County may have been in cahoots with a relative working for Los Zetas:

One of Mexico's most powerful drug cartels may have had some inside help in North Texas for several years from a Collin County deputy constable, according to police documents.

Robert Benavidez, whose career as a North Texas peace officer dates back almost a dozen years, was arrested July 8 on six counts of abuse of official capacity. He is accused of helping his cousin, Sergio Maldonado, who was believed to have been the North Texas "cell leader" for the Zetas, the ruthless enforcement arm of Mexico's Gulf Cartel drug smuggling operation.

Mr. Maldonado was among 30 people arrested last year during a massive federal drug sweep known as Operation Puma. Mr. Maldonado pleaded guilty earlier this year to drug trafficking and money laundering-related charges.

Beginning in 2004, while working as a deputy constable, Mr. Benavidez would periodically check law enforcement databases to determine whether Mr. Maldonado or his wife had any outstanding arrest warrants, according to arrest affidavits. Mr. Benavidez would also check the registration and ownership of suspected law enforcement surveillance vehicles, according to the arrest documents. In return, Mr. Benavidez was given several grams of cocaine, Mr. Maldonado told federal agents.

That's a pretty wild story. Most cartel-related police corruption on the US side historically occurred along the Mexican border; Collin County, by contrast, is just one county away from the Oklahoma state line.

For several years now this blog has maintained that border security and anti-drug funds aimed at international trafficking should go first to identify and prosecute police corruption before paying for hardware and training. This story shows that strategy is needed statewide, not just in counties along the Rio Grande.

10 comments:

Ron in Houston said...

I was wondering if you saw this:

http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_9884280

Harry Reid is saying they're an organized crime syndicate.

Anonymous said...

Police Corruption? in the US.. surely Grits you must be mistaken...

Doran Williams said...

I don't know where we are in Texas in the continuum of drug related police corruption. But if we are as far along as this post indicates -- paid spies within police departments -- then I suspect the next step will be honest to god sleepers and fifth columnists. Los Zeta members, made members, going into law enforcement, getting credentialed and commissioned, and working up through the ranks. They will be hard to spot, because they will be the straightest arrows in the PD's quiver, never screwing up and never hesitating to finger the run-of-the-mill bent cops.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Didn't Creig Matthews and Kim Ramsey work for Plano PD at some point? - a Smith County resident

TxBluesMan said...

Yes, both worked for Plano, before they went to Tyler, and before they went to federal prison.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

RE: Matthews and Ramsey, now that's some old school drug cop corruption there. Tom Coleman in Tulia was a naif by comparison.

Don Dickson said...

It was reported to me by several Troopers that the DPS had a confirmed member of the Latin Kings in a recent recruit class....and that the guy quit three weeks after his commission date.

They said he even had a LK tattoo.

Anonymous said...

Well, as everyone suspected Collin County is corrupt, not just Plano. McKinney and Frisco their PD is corrupt, drugs in schools...even to the elementary level. Only one judge for juveniles, whose is corrupt and prejudice, the DA and those that work in that office scattered under Henry Wade and veined out to Collin County so the corruption just keeps on trucking. The police have all some relative working in there and the drugs infest down to the elementary schools. Teachers being fired, hate and prejudice and drug cartels seed this county...so don't be shocked. Hell, you had a judge that was under thumb with the pharmecutical company. Let's hope that some fresh, justice blood rolls in there. Maybe Craig Watkins should investigate the wrongful convictions in that place. Wow, that would be something. All you have in this county are cloned Creig Matthews, Kim Ramsey and Tom Coleman's. I guess next you better check out Madden and Shapiro because they seem to turn a blind eye to all of this. Sickening, just sickening.

corruxptcopst said...

Frisco PD is without question corrupt. I have certified police audio and video of them planting evidence. Also, certified court transcripts of Sergeant Jorge A. Sanchez after being confronted with his audio/video that he was lying under oath. Of course 3 previous Frisco coward cops had already committed perjury. If anyone dislikes what I have to say about this, then feel free to sue me for slander. I'll be more than happy to see them in court.
If anyone has ever been arrested by or investigated by any of the below officers...please contact me. I have absolute proof that these cops are corrupt, liars and cowards.
Off. Randall Adams, Off. Kristopher Lee, Sgt. Jorge Sanchez, Corp. Michael Goodman, Off. Cynthia Holmes, Off. Brent Armstrong, Off. Jon Coduti, Off. Sara Arizpe, Off. Avery Jones, Off. Sandra Morales

Paul Bailey said...

FriscoPaul highlights malfeasance by Frisco Texas Police Department and malicious prosecution by Collin County Prosecutors. We now know that tampered evidence was used at trial, this has been confirmed by multiple experts. Looks like Frisco PD made a few mistakes. The overall question is, who authorized it

http://friscopaul.blogspot.com