Former Police Investigator Sentenced for Drug Trafficking
MCALLEN – A former Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force officer/Mission Police Department investigator was sentenced for his convictions of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.
A federal jury convicted Hector Mendez, 46, of San Juan on July 14, 2016, following a six-day trial and about three hours of deliberation.
U.S. District Judge Randy Crane handed Mendez a 25-year sentence to be followed by five years of supervised release.
During the trial, the jury heard that Mendez conspired to steal approximately 14.9 kilograms of cocaine and stage a seizure of diluted cocaine to cover the theft.
On July 25, 2012, Reynol Chapa-Garcia, 42, of Mission, received a quantity of cocaine at a residence in Mission. Mendez arrived at the home and collected the bundles of cocaine. The men agreed the cocaine would be diluted or cut, then repackaged and staged for a seizure sometime later. The remaining drugs would be sold.
On July 28, 2012, a Ford Taurus was staged with the diluted bundles in Mission. Mendez and other Mission police officers seized the vehicle and drugs. Chapa-Garcia made recorded calls to the person who had originally provided the drugs to conceal the fact that the cocaine had been cut and made it seem the bundles were seized by law enforcement during the supposed transport.
Testimony of witnesses at trial established 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.
Mendez will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility.
Chapa-Garcia pleaded guilty May 27, 2016 for his role in the conspiracy and will be sentenced at a later date.
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