Whenever a major drug bust occurs, one can usually expect a domino effect of arrests and indictments as conspiracies come to light throughout an investigation.
It is not very often, however, that the conspiracy involves a cop who happens to be in the family of one of Mexico’s most dangerous drug cartels.
News out of Houston, Texas today tells the story of Efrain Grimaldo, the nephew of Houston Police Officer Noe Juarez, who was sentenced on September 2, 2014 to 33 years in federal prison for smuggling 1,640 kilograms of cocaine throughout the southern and eastern United States.
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A few months prior, Efrain’s brother, Sergio Grimaldo, was extradited from Mexico and later charged along with Officer Juarez for participating in a conspiracy to distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine.
True to the adage that the apple never falls far from the tree, with the tree in this case being the Los Zetas cartel, Noe Juarez was caught on video illegally selling assault rifles and sensitive information to undercover informants.
Especially ironic is the fact that Juarez is a former “officer of the year.” Now, it appears he has been accused of secretly working for Los Zetas cartel in a drug trafficking conspiracy in operation since 2006.
According to Raw Story, although the Texas cop allegedly provided the cartel with firearms, bulletproof vests, luxury vehicles, police scanners, and database access, recently filed court documents revealed at least two convicted cocaine traffickers are cooperating with the government against the disgraced Juarez.
Juarez was also charged in a separate conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
From the looks of it, Juarez may want to be more alert for cameras the next time he decides to commit a crime. The amount of video evidence against the winner of Bullit County PD’s one-time “cop of the year” is conclusive.
In April, videos surfaced of Juarez illegally selling firearms and sensitive information to government informants posing as major drug traffickers.
In March 2011, a hidden camera recorded Juarez selling assault rifles to an informant.
A second video recorded in July 2011 revealed Juarez running license plates through the Houston Police Department (HPD) database for an undercover informant who told the cop that the plate numbers belonged to people who owed him $800,000 in drug money.
Making matters worse for Juarez, his uncle and co-defendant, Sergio Grimaldo, pleaded guilty on September 23 and has begun cooperating with the prosecution against the former officer of the year.
According to newly released court documents, the convicted drug traffickers have been participating in the conspiracy to distribute cocaine from New York to Louisiana since 2006.
Just after being fired from the police department following his arrest, Juarez claimed he “had no idea” that his nephew was a member of the Zetas cartel.
But as the evidence continues to pile up with undercover surveillance videos and co-conspirators testifying against him, Juarez appears to simply be another cartel associate who successfully infiltrated the Houston Police Department.
(Photo Credit: rawstory.com)