A Houston police officer received a 30-year prison sentence from a federal judge for helping members of the Los Zetas drug cartel obtain guns and body armor. He also supplied sensitive information about operations to the cartel and assisted them in smuggling cocaine.
Houston Police Senior Patrol Officer Noe Juarez was convicted by a federal court in January for supplying high-powered weapons and other equipment to the cartels and helping them smuggle massive amounts of cocaine into Louisiana and other communities, Breitbart Texas reported in January. “A once proud member of the Houston Police Department, Noe Juarez breached his oath to protect and serve by providing weapons and other resources to known violent drug traffickers,” U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite said in a statement at the time. “Today’s guilty verdict ensures that Juarez will now face a lengthy jail sentence for his crimes.”
Federal Judge Sarah Vance handed down a 365-month prison sentence to Juarez on Wednesday, information provided to Breitbart Texas by the Department of Justice disclosed. Immediately following the sentencing Juarez filed a notice of his intent to appeal the sentence, according to court records obtained by Breitbart Texas. Juarez could have faced up to life in prison for his offenses.
Juarez was convicted by a federal jury in New Orleans on the charge of conspiracy to possess and distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine, and a separate conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.
Evidence presented during trial revealed the 20-year Houston police veteran and former U.S. Marine became involved with a conspiracy to assist the Los Zetas drug cartel in smuggling operations that ran from the Texas/Mexico border into Louisiana and elsewhere. “Juarez played a pivotal role by providing law enforcement sensitive information, including running license plates and sharing police tactics and activities with conspirators,” the DOJ statement revealed. “Juarez further supplied vehicles, body armor, and semi-automatic handguns and assault rifles to the conspirators, some of which ended up among senior cartel leaders in Mexico.”
“The cartel’s efforts to infiltrate law enforcement are not limited to Mexico. They want to do it here as well, and we can’t let them,” DEA Special Agent in Charge Stephen G. Azzam said in the written statement. “We must and will remain diligent in finding and prosecuting anyone who supports, funds, or aids the cartels. Noe Juarez’ conduct unfairly tarnishes the proud reputation of law enforcement officers in this country who put their lives on the line every day to protect our residents and their communities. By doing so, he not only violated his duties as a police officer, but also endangered fellow law enforcement officers and the public trust/faith through his actions.”
The members of the conspiracy were reported to have distributed hundreds of kilograms of cocaine throughout the U.S. Some of the destinations for the drugs included: Jackson, Mississippi; Pensacola, Florida; New York City, New York; Detroit, Michigan; Baltimore, Maryland, Dover, Delaware; and Houma, Louisiana.