McALLEN, Texas — A Texas narcotics officer assigned to a federal task force from the border city of Mission will spend 25 years in prison for his role in stealing cocaine loads while on the job.
This week, Hector “Jo Jo” Mendez, a former Mission Police officer assigned to a federal task force, went before U.S. District Judge Randy Crane who sentenced him to 300 months in federal prison and to a term of five years probation. As Breitbart Texas reported, in July Mendez was convicted on one count of conspiracy to posses a controlled substance.
The charges against Mendez come from a July 2015 indictment accusing him of using his position as a Mission Police Officer assigned to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to help steal cocaine loads from Mexican cartels. In order to steal the drugs, Mendez and others would carry out a ruse where they would dilute the cocaine and stage a seizure of the diluted drugs in order to cover their tracks.
Mendez was initially arrested in July 2015 following an investigation into allegations of stolen cocaine, Breitbart Texas reported at the time. 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. Authorities analyzed the seized cocaine and learned that it had been diluted to 18 percent purity, a level considered poor quality.
Information provided to Breitbart Texas at the time of Mendez’s arrest by the U.S. Attorney’s Office revealed that on July 25, 2012, Reynol Chapa, 42, of Mission, had received a load of cocaine at a residence in Mission. Shortly thereafter, Mendez arrived at Chapa’s residence and collected the bundles. Mendez and Chapa had agreed the cocaine would be diluted or cut, then repackaged and staged for a seizure sometime later. The remaining cocaine would then be sold.
On July 28, 2012, a Ford Taurus was staged with the diluted bundles of cocaine in Mission. Mendez and other Mission Police Department officers seized the Taurus and drugs. Chapa made recorded calls to the person who had originally provided the drugs to conceal the fact that the cocaine had been cut and make it seem the bundles had been seized by law enforcement during the supposed transport. Mendez had doctored the reports in order to have Gonzalez take the fall for the fake drug bust.
Testimony of witnesses at trial established that Mendez intentionally concealed facts about the seizure in DEA reports and statements to federal prosecutors; presented false statements to multiple judges in sworn court filings; and intentionally altered transcripts of recorded calls in evidence against Gonzalez.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded the Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and Stephen K. Bannon. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.