Texas - A former sergeant with
the Progreso Police Department (PPD) has been ordered to serve 20 years in
federal prison for drug trafficking, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick
and Special Agent in Charge Shane Folden of Immigration and
Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) along with Special Agent in Charge Will R.
Glaspy of the Drug Enforcement (DEA) and Acting Special Agent in Charge Andy
Tsui of IRS-Criminal Investigation (CI).
sentence serves as a sobering reminder about the serious consequences for those
who violate the public’s trust,” said Folden. “HSI will continue to work
closely with our law enforcement partners to target and investigate those who
exploit their positions for financial gain.”
convicted Geovani Hernandez, 45, of Weslaco, March 7, 2019, on two counts of
attempting to aid and abet the trafficking of five kilograms of cocaine
following a four-day trial and approximately three hours of deliberation.
U.S. District Judge Randy Crane ordered Hernandez to serve 240 months in prison
to be immediately followed by five years of supervised release. At the hearing,
the court noted the evidence against Hernandez was overwhelming. In imposing
the sentence, the court ruled Hernandez abused his position of trust to
facilitate the drug trafficking offense and obstructed justice when he
attempted to intimidate both the case agent and confidential informant to
prevent them from testifying at trial.
Hernandez had been employed as a PPD sergeant from March
through August 2017, when a confidential source met with him seeking assistance
for a drug trafficking organization. The meetings culminated in Hernandez
agreeing to scout for law enforcement to enable a vehicle he believed contained
a controlled substance to pass through the Progreso area undetected.
At trial, the jury heard recordings between the informant
and Hernandez discussing scouting for the drug load. The government presented
evidence that once the drug load made it successfully through Progreso on July
15, 2017, Hernandez gave the informant his Progreso police badge.
The defense attempted to attack the credibility of the
witnesses and denied any of Hernandez’s knowledge of the drug trafficking
scheme or his attempt to participate in it. The jury was not convinced and
convicted him on all counts as charged.
public’s trust of our law enforcement officials is very fragile; thus, DEA will
always vigorously pursue allegations of drug trafficking within the ranks of
the law enforcement community,” said Glaspy. “The sentence handed down today is
a reminder to those who may consider betraying their badge and the public’s
confidence that you will be held accountable for your actions.”
sentencing of this former police officer should serve as a warning that anyone
involved in the drug trafficker trade, especially those within a public trust
position, will be held accountable for their actions,” added Tsui.
Hernandez has been and will remain in custody pending
transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near
HSI and Department of Homeland Security - Office of
Inspector General (DHS-OIG) led the investigation into Hernandez. The case
arose as a result of the larger Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force
Investigation dubbed Operation Blue Shame which HSI, DHS-OIG, DEA and IRS – CI
investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorneys (AUSA) James H. Sturgis and Kristen J.
Rees prosecuted this case. AUSAs Anibal Alaniz and Casey Macdonald are
prosecuting the related drug trafficking case.