According to ABC News, several South Texas police officers were sentenced on Tuesday for using their positions to protect drugs or steal them for resale to other traffickers. Four of the nine law enforcement officers were sentenced to prison terms ranging from eight to 12 years. The rest of the sentencings took place on Wednesday morning.
According to investigations, members of the Panama police unit were stealing drugs themselves and smuggling marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine and ecstasy to buyers in the state. Sometimes they hired crews to do the crimes for them, reassuring them that they would not get arrested.
The authorities denied any knowledge of the unit's illicit activities, but eventually the investigation showed additional corruption in the state. A former Hidalgo County Sherriff resigned from his position earlier this month after pleading guilty to federal money laundering charges that were related to taking campaign funds from another drug trafficker.
Testimonies reveal that some of the Panama Unit officers would coerce their way into homes wearing body armor and carrying their guns while looking for drugs. During this they would actually escort cocaine loads that were moving throughout the area. The operation was large and involved a wide range of people.
Many of the officers have publically apologized for their actions. They have said that they wanted extra money and hoped that they could use their positions in law enforcement to earn this profit without having to ask for a raise. If you have been arrested for drug crimes, don't hesitate to contact an attorney at the firm. We are committed to defending you in your drug crimes cases. Call today to get more information about how we can help you. We want you to avoid charges and embarrassing sentencings which could jeopardize your career!