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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Grits for Breakfast reports:

Bribe-taking cops, judges

Here's yet another South Texas police chief convicted of conspiring with drug traffickers:
Former Sullivan City Police Chief Hernan Guerra has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison without parole for drug trafficking, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced yesterday. ...

Guerra was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana in January of this year after pleading guilty to the federal drug trafficking offense. At that time, Guerra admitted that as police chief of Sullivan City, he assisted the drug traffickers cross their loads of marijuana by alerting members of the illicit organization to the location of U.S. Border Patrol units and by directing his officers to other locations to avoid their interfering with or intercepting the traffickers as they ran the loads of marijuana from the river into Sullivan City. Guerra was paid for the assistance he provided the traffickers.
And there was a similar recent incident out of Laredo, reports Channel 6 News in Webb County:
A Laredo police officer ... was sentenced to over 24 years in prison after being convicted for drug trafficking firearms offenses, prosecutors informed.
Orlando Jesus Hale, 28, a member of Laredo Police Department (LPD), was found guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime and possessing the firearm in furtherance of the drug trafficking crime.
The law agent was sentenced to 235 months in prison for the drug trafficking offense and to a consecutive 60-month prison term for the firearms charges. Overall, Hale received a sentenced of 295 months in prison (24 years and a half).

Hale and LPD officer Pedro Martinez III conspired to escort vehicles loaded with cocaine through Laredo, Texas. The two defendants used their police radios to monitor LPD dispatch traffic during the escort.
Meanwhile, since we're on the subject of corruption, I should mention former Judge Abel Limas in Brownsville who pleaded guilty earlier this month to taking bribes in exchange for favorable rulings in criminal cases.Reported the McAllen Monitor:
Limas pleaded guilty ... to racketeering by soliciting, extorting and accepting bribes totaling at least $257,300 in exchange for giving favorable rulings. His plea, which came in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, resulted from a federal indictment....

His alleged activities make up the most explosive corruption case here since the federal conviction in 2005 of former Cameron County Sheriff Conrado Cantu, who is now serving a term of nearly 25 years for racketeering.

The indictment against Limas, an attorney and former police officer, is the result of a years-long investigation that has brought his 35 years in law enforcement and judicial work to a screeching halt.
Scott Hensen, the author/editor of Grits for Breakfast, comment "Most police officers and judges would never engage in such behavior, but nor do most aggressively seek out those among their colleagues who do - these cases all stemmed from investigations by outside agencies, they weren't caught by the locals' checks and balances. Anyone who thinks law-enforcement corruption is only a problem south of the river is kidding themselves, and it's not just along the border, either."

Bill Conroy in NarcoSphere reports about a high-level player with one of the most notorious narco-trafficking organizations in Mexico, the Sinaloa “cartel,” claims that he has been working with the U.S. government for years, according to pleadings filed recently in federal court in Chicago. The story reads like a screenplay for a Hollywood thriller, with crooked CIA and ICE agents.

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