McALLEN, Texas (CN) – A former Starr County sheriff was sentenced to more than 5 years in federal prison for taking bribes to help dealers move drugs through his border county. Reymundo Guerra, 52, of Rio Grande City, admitted he had provided information to Jose Hinojosa and his drug trafficking associates since January 2007.
“I’m saddened to see a law enforcement officer who’s indicted like this,” U.S. District Judge Randy Crane said. “It is a stain on the badge.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement: “If Guerra knew or anticipated there might be increased law enforcement activity in the area of Starr County, Guerra would warn Hinojosa. Guerra also forced closure of a case associated with one of Hinojosa’s associates. On at least one occasion, Guerra knowingly gave a false document to investigators to deflect suspicion from one of Hinojosa’s associates. Guerra also assisted Hinojosa to learn of information leading to searches of stash locations and residences and/or seizures of controlled substances.”
For providing the information, Guerra was paid in cash “gifts,” as much as $3,000 at one time.
Hinojosa, 32, of Roma, Texas, is a resident alien from Mexico and the alleged leader of a drug ring. He has also pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing in October.
Guerra was arrested in October 2008 with several others as part of a federal investigation called “Operation Carlito’s Weight.”
“I want to say how sorry I am for putting my wife and daughter through this nightmare,” Guerra said during sentencing. “I apologize to my friends, family and constituents for this wrong I have done.”
Guerra was sentenced to 64 months in federal prison.