DALLAS (CN) – The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission said it has suspended all sting operations regarding minors after a TABC agent was arrested by Texas Rangers and charged with two counts of sexual assault and one count of official oppression.
The sting operations involved officers sending a minor into businesses to see if employees would sell them alcohol.
TABC agent Joe Chavez Jr., 40, was under investigation by the Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Rangers for allegations of sexual misconduct after such a sting operation in May, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. The sting took place in Bastrop County.
“As with all TABC agents, Chavez is a TCLEOSE-certified peace officer, and an extensive background check was conducted prior to being hired by TABC,” the TABC said in a statement.
Chavez has been placed on leave without pay. He has no history of disciplinary action and no previous complaints were filed against him since he was hired in January 2004. He was assigned to the agency’s Bastrop office in August 2006.
“I want to ensure the TABC has the proper controls in place to protect the safety of the participants, the retailers and the general public,” said TABC Administrator Alan Steen.
If convicted, Chavez faces up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine on the two counts of sexual assault. He faces up to 1 year in jail and a $4,000 fine on one count of official oppression.