Former Houston Police Officer Sentenced to over 30 Years in Prison on Federal Drug and Firearm Charges
U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that NOE JUAREZ, a resident of Houston, was sentenced today by U.S. District Chief Judge Sarah S. Vance to serve 365 months in prison for his role in a large-scale drug conspiracy.
On January 15, 2015, JUAREZ was convicted by a federal jury for conspiracy to possess and distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine and a separate conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense. JUAREZ, as a co-conspirator, assisted an organization responsible for distributing hundreds of kilograms of cocaine throughout the United States, to include Jackson, Mississippi; Pensacola, Florida; New York City, New York; Detroit, Michigan; Baltimore, Maryland, Dover, Delaware; and Houma, Louisiana.
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 co-conspirators and 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 in Mexico. 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.
“This prosecution is the result of significant collaboration by local, state, and federal agencies across Louisiana and Texas,” stated U.S. Attorney Polite. “Their collective work ensures that a crooked cop will now spend over 30 years in prison for pouring more illegal guns and drugs onto our streets.”
“The cartel’s efforts to infiltrate law enforcement are not limited to Mexico. They want to do it here as well, and we can't let them,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Stephen G. Azzam. “We must and will remain diligent in finding and prosecuting anyone who supports, funds, or aids the cartels. Noe Juarez’ conduct unfairly tarnishes the proud reputation of law enforcement officers in this country who put their lives on the line every day to protect our residents and their communities. By doing so, he not only violated his duties as a police officer, but also endangered fellow law enforcement officers and the public trust/faith through his actions.”
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. Additionally, U.S. Attorney Polite 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.