Texas Border Cop Arrested in Federal Drug Theft Cover-Up Case

MCALLEN, Texas — A Texas cop form the border city of Mission remains in federal custody accused of trying to cover up for another cop from his department who has been charged with stealing drugs from traffickers.

On Monday, Mission Police Officer Michael Edelmiro Lopez went before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dorina Ramos who ordered he be held without bond pending a hearing later this week.

As Breitbart Texas previously reported on July 2015, FBI agents arrested Hector “Jojo” Mendez, a former narcotics agent with the Mission Police Department in connection with the theft from drugs.

According to prosecutors, on July 2012, Mendez seized 15 kilograms of cocaine form a parked vehicle at a restaurant in that border city.

When federal authorities prosecuted the owner of the vehicle, they learned that the information that the case had been based on was a lie. Court records in the case against Mendez revealed that informants told authorities that the veteran narcotics agent was part of the drug trafficking group. The veteran cop had taken the drugs to get them diluted and then used the poor quality load to stage the seizure while being able to keep the high quality drugs.

As part of the investigation into Mendez, federal agents interviewed  Lopez, a K-9 police officer with Mission. During that interview, FBI agents asked Lopez about a “sequence of events” from the days that Mendez is accused of having taken part in the drug theft. The criminal complaint filed by authorities shows that FBI agents went through police logs and records and confirmed that the version of events described by Lopez had, in fact, been false, court documents revealed.

Lopez’s arrest took place on the same day that a U.S. Border Patrol agent and an Edinburg police officer turned themselves in to federal agents in a separate drug theft case, Breitbart Texas previously reported. In that other case, Border Patrol Agent Daniel Polanco and police officer Hector Beltran are facing federal drug charges for their role in a large scale drug distribution and drug theft ring.

The ring worked under a Mexican drug dealer living in the U.S. who would move drugs for Mexican traffickers. However, according to prosecutors, instead of moving the drugs, he would dilute the drugs and then use law enforcement officials to stage fake drug seizures while keeping the real ones.

In that case, authorities have arrested, charged or implicated  other law enforcement officials including a Houston Police Officer and a deputy constable from the Houston area.

Mission Police

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award winning journalist with Breitbart Texas you can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.


Comment count on this article reflects comments made on Breitbart.com and Facebook. Visit Breitbart's Facebook Page.