McALLEN, Texas – A Texas police officer has been arrested and charged in connection with a complex scheme to steal several kilograms of cocaine while claiming to make a large drug bust.
The arrest marks the third officer from one police department and adds another notch to a lengthy list of cops in Texas who have been busted in either drug trafficking or human smuggling.
Hector Mendez, a 44-year-old veteran police officer in the border city Mission was arrested by FBI agents last week and was formally charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance by U.S. Magistrate Judge Dorina Ramos on Monday morning
The case against Mendez stems from July 2012 when he seized a 1998 Ford Taurus filled with 15 kilograms of cocaine at a restaurant in Mission, court records obtained by Breitbart Texas revealed. Federal prosecutors went after the driver of the car, identified as Salvador Gonzalez; however the case was actually a lie.
After getting indicted in the case, Gonzalez told authorities that the information filed against him was in fact false. Authorities analyzed the seized cocaine and learned that it had been diluted to 18 percent purity, a level considered poor quality.
Agents then spoke with an informant who told them that Gonzalez was right and he had worked with Mendez in the past. The cocaine had been delivered days before and Mendez had taken the drugs with him in order to “cut” or dilute the drugs while still be able to stage a drug bust.
Mendez allegedly took the drugs around the same time when two other police officers in Mission were involved in another scheme to steal narcotics. Mission officers Jonathan Trevino and Alexis Espinoza have since pleaded guilty to taking part in another scheme to steal drugs from traffickers only to sell them on the side in what became known as the Panama Unit Scandal.
In that scandal, close to a dozen law enforcement officials ended up going to prison in multiple schemes to steal drugs and resell them.