McALLEN, Texas (CN) – A former South Texas police chief has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for helping drug cartels smuggle more than a ton of marijuana into the country. Sullivan City Police Chief Hernan Guerra Jr., 44, of Mission, pleaded guilty in January to conspiracy with intent to distribute the drug.
Guerra admitted that as police chief he helped drug dealers smuggle their loads by alerting them to the location of U.S. Border Patrol units and by directing his officers elsewhere.
Prosecutors say Guerra was paid for his services.
At his sentencing in McAllen Federal Court, Guerra told U.S. District Judge Randy Crane that he was sorry for what he has done, according to The McAllen Monitor.
“When you do something like this, you cause people to lose confidence in our government,” the judge told Guerra.
Crane said federal investigators had tapped Guerra’s phone lines and that in those recordings, Guerra “seemed to scoff” at the notion of getting arrested.
“I remember being appalled at some of the things you were saying on the wire taps,” Judge Crane said.
Seven other defendants were also sentenced after pleaded guilty to conspiracy:
Renato Villalon, 34, of Sullivan City, a driver, was sentenced to 151 months in prison.
Felix Gallardo Noyola, 38, of Mexico, whose job was to ride shotgun throw spikes to impede law enforcement, was sentenced to 80 months in prison.
Noe Salinas, 30, of Sullivan City, a scout and the keeper of a stash house, was sentenced to 78 months.
Michael Montelongo, 19, of Sullivan City, who did counter-surveillance of law enforcement on the U.S. side of the border, was sentenced to 60 months.
Two scouts, Juan Carlos Escalera, 30, and Angel Gilberto Martinez, 18, both of Sullivan City, were sentenced to 60 months and 30 months imprisonment, respectively.
Javier Francisco Pena Trevino, 41, of Sullivan City, was sentenced to 37 months.
All of the prison sentences are to be followed by supervised release.