Federal Jury Convicts Former Houston Police Officer of Conspiracy
U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that a federal jury has convicted former Houston Police Officer NOE JUAREZ, age 47, of conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine hydrochloride and conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.
According to evidence presented at trial, Juarez, a veteran Houston Police officer, became involved with an international drug conspiracy that reached into the Eastern District of Louisiana. The conspiracy, spearheaded by brothers Efrain and Sergio Grimaldo, distributed thousands of kilograms of cocaine throughout the United States. The drugs were supplied to the conspiracy by the Los Zetas drug cartel. Juarez played a pivotal role by providing law enforcement sensitive information, including running license plates and sharing police tactics and activities with conspirators. Juarez further supplied vehicles, body armor, and semi-automatic handguns and assault rifles to the conspirators, some of which ended up among senior cartel leaders in Mexico.
The conspiracy to distribute cocaine conviction carries a sentence of ten years to life imprisonment, followed by a minimum of five years of supervised release, and up to a $10,000,000 fine. The conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense carries a maximum penalty of twenty years imprisonment, followed by a maximum of three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance set sentencing on April 20, 2016.
“A once proud member of the Houston Police Department, Noe Juarez breached his oath to protect and serve by providing weapons and other resources to known violent drug traffickers,” stated U.S. Attorney Polite. “This conspiracy’s conduct resulted in drugs and firearms ending up on the streets of Houma, Louisiana. Today’s guilty verdict ensures that Juarez will now face a lengthy jail sentence for his crimes. In addition, this prosecution reaffirms our commitment to fighting violence and corruption in Southeast Louisiana.”
“Law enforcement officers take an oath to work for the public good. The crimes committed by Noe Juarez are a slap in the face to the vast majority of law enforcement across the globe who are dedicated to taking down violent drug trafficking organizations. Those who commit such crimes are not worthy to stand among the ranks of the good men and women who wear their badges with pride in order to protect the citizens of this great country,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Keith Brown.
U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) offices in New Orleans and Houston, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) in Houston, and the Houston Police Department Internal Affairs Division in investigating this matter and thanked the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas for their assistance. Agents who assisted in the prosecution team included case agents William Johnson, DEA, and Jose Garcia, FBI, with assistance from agents and officers from DEA, Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (“ATF”), and the Houston Police Department Internal Affairs Proactive Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys John F. Murphy, Theodore Carter, and James Baehr were in charge of the prosecution.