Police Officer Charged with Drug Trafficking
McALLEN, Texas – A 43-year-old sergeant with the Progresso Police Department has been taken into custody on charges of aiding and abetting the attempt to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez.
Authorities arrested Giovani Hernandez upon the filing of a sealed criminal complaint on Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017. He made his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dorina Ramos this morning and is set for a probable cause and detention hearing on Aug. 18, 2017.
Hernandez, of Weslaco, is a sergeant with the Progreso Police Department, according to the charges. From March through July 2017, a confidential source allegedly met with Hernandez seeking assistance for a drug trafficking organization. The criminal complaint alleges the meetings culminated in Hernandez agreeing to provide protection for a vehicle he believed contained a controlled substance through the Progreso area. In return for his assistance, Hernandez allegedly received approximately $5,000.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, Drug Enforcement Administration and IRS - Criminal Investigations conducted the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Investigation which was dubbed Operation Blue Shame. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anibal J. Alaniz and Kristen Rees are prosecuting the case.
A criminal complaint is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.