Friday, April 22, 2011

More bribe-taking cops, judges

Here's yet another South Texas police chief convicted of conspiring with drug traffickers:
Former Sullivan City Police Chief Hernan Guerra has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison without parole for drug trafficking, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced yesterday. ...

Guerra was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana in January of this year after pleading guilty to the federal drug trafficking offense. At that time, Guerra admitted that as police chief of Sullivan City, he assisted the drug traffickers cross their loads of marijuana by alerting members of the illicit organization to the location of U.S. Border Patrol units and by directing his officers to other locations to avoid their interfering with or intercepting the traffickers as they ran the loads of marijuana from the river into Sullivan City. Guerra was paid for the assistance he provided the traffickers.
And there was a similar recent incident out of Laredo, reports Channel 6 News in Webb County:
A Laredo police officer ... was sentenced to over 24 years in prison after being convicted for drug trafficking firearms offenses, prosecutors informed.
Orlando Jesus Hale, 28, a member of Laredo Police Department (LPD), was found guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime and possessing the firearm in furtherance of the drug trafficking crime.
The law agent was sentenced to 235 months in prison for the drug trafficking offense and to a consecutive 60-month prison term for the firearms charges. Overall, Hale received a sentenced of 295 months in prison (24 years and a half).

Hale and LPD officer Pedro Martinez III conspired to escort vehicles loaded with cocaine through Laredo, Texas. The two defendants used their police radios to monitor LPD dispatch traffic during the escort.
Meanwhile, since we're on the subject of corruption, I should mention former Judge Abel Limas in Brownsville who pleaded guilty earlier this month to taking bribes in exchange for favorable rulings in criminal cases. Reported the McAllen Monitor:
Limas pleaded guilty ... to racketeering by soliciting, extorting and accepting bribes totaling at least $257,300 in exchange for giving favorable rulings. His plea, which came in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, resulted from a federal indictment....

His alleged activities make up the most explosive corruption case here since the federal conviction in 2005 of former Cameron County Sheriff Conrado Cantu, who is now serving a term of nearly 25 years for racketeering.

The indictment against Limas, an attorney and former police officer, is the result of a years-long investigation that has brought his 35 years in law enforcement and judicial work to a screeching halt.
Most police officers and judges would never engage in such behavior, but nor do most aggressively seek out those among their colleagues who do - these cases all stemmed from investigations by outside agencies, they weren't caught by the locals' checks and balances. Anyone who thinks law-enforcement corruption is only a problem south of the river is kidding themselves, and it's not just along the border, either.


Audrey said...

Well, well, well...will wonders never cease. All these folks ought to be subject to independent audits, both of their accounts/assets and their life styles.

Anonymous said...

why would one say that, "Most police officers...would never engage in such behavior." Sorry but I believe, based on my own interaction with numerous officers over the years, that most would engage in such behavior if they believed they could get away with it. Most just don't have the opportunity on the scale required to compromise their "thin blue line" of morality.

Roof Walker said...


I know this is a bit off subject, but could you explain what happens when a law was passed in 2007 (SB103) and when a new law is forthcoming (combining TYC and TJPC into one agency)... does SB103 expire or what or is the language in SB103 included in the new bill? I apologize, I just don't watch this like you do.

Anonymous said...

As long is there is illegal money to be made from drugs bribes and other illicet behavior will continue. It is time for some common scene drug laws in this country starting with marijuana.

wfs said...

Yes, we have that case too here on our country, maybe we would accept this reality but try to stop this.

DEWEY said...

"Quis costodiat ipsos costodies?" Who will guard the guards?

Anonymous said...

You can't have a thriving drug trade without corrupt cops, attorneys, judges and politicians. The same thing happened during Prohibition and the same thing will always happen when "consumers" demand a product that is made illegal.

The black market prices that can be charged for illegal goods make the business so profitable that someone will always be willing to take the chance of getting caught or killed in return for making many thousands, millions or even billions, of dollars.

This is unfettered capitalism - supply and demand; market forces at work. Payoffs are just part of the cost of doing business.

If every drug cartel member, every drug runner and every drug dealer was killed or imprisoned today, legions of others would quickly arise to take their places. The temptation of big money is too great for many to resist, even more so in bad economic times.

The so-called "War on Drugs" cannot be won anymore than the war on alcohol during prohibition. Tobacco products kill far more Americans than illegal drugs. But we don't have a "War on Tobacco" because the molecules in tobacco smoke are legal.

There is also, of course, a very large constituency of law enforcement, prosecutors and the prison-industrial complex who make their living by fighting the drug "war." Their jobs are dependent upon attempting (or pretending) to win an unwinnable "war" and locking up the users for even small amounts of drugs.

Like so many things in the U.S., there are too many entrenched interests to expect any significant change anytime soon.

john said...

Yeah, the dollar amounts over drug areas have got to be enormous. Also, were all those guys Hispanic? I'd think if they share common language with the drug runners out of Mexico, they would be more likely to be approached to take a bribe. Indeed, an honest cop there would also be able to find out more about what's going on.
I agree with one of the anonymo's, here, who said cops DO engage in crime and are opportunists. I think the rewards of being a crook look huge, compared to a static wage, risking your life, buying your own gun, etc. Judges, on the other hand, risk little but their position and power which lead to local wealth. Judges would be more likely to take it or leave it, so to speak. But on a large scale at all levels, judges have colluded with other gov against the people. "Justice costs more" is bad enough; but the systemic corruption and abuse of ignoring the law and constitution is seditious and sophistic----worse than just a cop gone bad. Judges who collude with the Legislature, etc., are a problem, because the Legislature et al. are corrupted by lobbyists. I just cannot earn enough money to pay off lawyers!

Anonymous said...

I say empty out the prisons and put only corrupt cops and judges in them.

Anonymous said...

Austin tx judges , police , lawyers etc are all corouptthey all work together. in the courts

Anonymous said...

Austin tx. judges and DA Pay off the lawyes even when its not a court apt lawyer , becarefull when hiting a lawyer