A Pharr police officer arrested last week was working as a middleman for Mexican drug traffickers seeking military-grade weapons, the FBI said Monday.I know, another corrupt South Texas cop: Same song, zillionth verse. But the especially fascinating part of the feds' sting relates to what happened with the weapons and bulletproof vest the officer was selling: Apparently they let the cartel buyer get away with them scot-free. Roebuck reports that federal agents were alerted by Beas' uncle that the officer was looking for weapons to sell to a man dubbed "El Cubano." The feds apparently contacted the would-be buyer and "urged the man to set up the deal," so he was apparently working as an FBI informant during the transaction, meaning he had a designated "handler" coordinating his actions. That's why it seems a somewhat dubious, as Roebuck reports, that El Cubano was allowed to:
Jaime Beas, a six-year veteran of the force, allegedly brokered a deal to purchase an M-16 assault rifle and a bulletproof vest being sold by undercover agents he thought were U.S. Marines.
Authorities arrested the 33-year-old officer Friday in McAllen but released few details about his case over the weekend.
leave the deal with weapons in tow. There is no mention of his arrest in Beas’ charging documents. “There are some serious questions raised about the treatment of the purchaser of this equipment,” [Beas' attorney] said.Was El Cubano an informant? Is that why the FBI let a delivery of M-16s and body armor go through to his cartel-bosses? Otherwise, losing the merchandise fronted by undercover agents during such a transaction seems like a huge flaw in the operation. Is the same guy still out there buying guns and body armor for the drug cartels? Quien sabe?
A local FBI spokesman did not return calls for comment Monday on the outcome of “El Cubano’s” involvement in the case or how agents first began investigating Beas.