Thursday, January 03, 2013

Drug corruption (allegedly) all in the law-enforcement family

The sons of a local police chief and the Hidalgo County sheriff were caught up in a sting targeting corrupt law enforcement officers, reported the New York Times yesterday ("In drug fight on Texas border, some officers work both sides," Jan 2):
Last month, four lawmen — two Hidalgo County sheriff’s deputies and two Mission police officers — were arrested and accused of escorting loads of drugs in exchange for cash after a corruption investigation led by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the F.B.I. and other agencies. In court documents filed by federal investigators, the four men were accused of escorting vehicles carrying cocaine for $2,000 to $6,000 per trip. 

They were not ordinary patrolmen. Officials said they were part of a task force called the Panama Unit that was formed to fight drug trafficking in Hidalgo County, part of the South Texas border region known as the Rio Grande Valley. Each had been a licensed peace officer for five to seven years and had received specialized training in investigative techniques and firearms. The two Mission officers — Alexis R. Espinoza, 29, and Jonathan C. Trevino, 28 — had deep ties to local law enforcement. Mr. Espinoza is the son of the Hidalgo police chief and Mr. Trevino is the son of the Hidalgo County sheriff. 

“We’re a law-abiding family, and we’re devastated,” said the sheriff, Guadalupe Trevino. “If it can be proven he did wrong, by God, he’s going to pay his debt to society. But at the same time he’s my son, and I am going to support him. As a father I am going to support him. But I can promise you and promise everybody else that we’re going to do the right thing.” 

The four men were the latest in a long line of officers accused of escorting, stealing or distributing drug loads near the 1,254-mile border that Texas shares with Mexico. Since 2007, more than 40 police officers, sheriff’s deputies, Border Patrol agents and other law enforcement personnel have been arrested and accused of using their positions to profit from the drug trade along or near the border, from El Paso to the Rio Grande Valley.
Not sure how I missed this one. See prior coverage from the Valley Morning Star.


Anonymous said...

It's not just happening at the border. Five police officers in Arkansas were arrested for escorting drug shipments a little over a year ago. One has to wonder if this is happening all over the place. Isn't the War on Drugs a farce?

Anonymous said...

Money talks and bullshit walks..Why is anyone surprised by anything? What does a cop in the anus of Texas make? 35, maybe 40 grand? Can't imagine there would be too many folks, law enforecement or not that would pass up a couple months salary in cash to just drive a cop car as you normally would.

Anonymous said...

That's just the way The Valley law "enforcement" rolls - on every level.

RAS said...

Does anyone believe their fathers are clean?