EL PASO, Texas – A woman who “used her position as an El Paso police officer” to help her stepfather distribute cocaine has been sentenced to two years in prison for the conspiracy, according to authorities.
The United States Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Texas said in a press statement Thursday that Monica Garcia, 24, helped Fred Saenz, her stepfather and co-defendant, stash and sell cocaine while she was engaged in her work as a police officer.
“Garcia used her position as an El Paso police officer to provide information that helped Saenz avoid detection by law enforcement while he distributed cocaine,” prosecutors said. “Her activities included conducting counter-surveillance and running license plate registrations to identify undercover police vehicles near the residence and stash house.”
The hammer dropped on Garcia when she was arrested in December 2020 after agents seized $14,405 from Saenz’s residence and 1.2 kilograms of cocaine from an additional stash house, complex.com reported.
Hence, in August 2021 the ex-cop pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to maintain a drug-involved premise and was sentenced Thursday to 24 months in prison for her role in the operation.
Fred Saenz pleaded guilty in July 2021 to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute over 500 grams of cocaine. He was subsequently sentenced in November 2021 to 42 months in prison and ordered to forfeit $14,405 derived from the drug conspiracy, according to federal authorities.
“Drug traffickers will stop at nothing, including trying to infiltrate law enforcement. But we can’t let them,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Greg Millard, El Paso Division. “DEA and its local, state, and federal partners will remain diligent in finding and prosecuting anyone who supports, funds, or aids the cartels.”
El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said, “An officer that chooses to violate their oath has no place in law enforcement and this case serves as an example that the El Paso Police Department does not condone and will not tolerate such conduct by any officer of this department.”
Continuing, Allen noted, “I would like to thank the DEA and Special Agent in Charge at the time, Kyle Williamson, for taking the lead in investigating the case. I would also like to thank and commend the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas for the successful prosecution and subsequent sentencing.”