Former Laredo Police Officer Sentenced
On Wednesday, March 6, 2013, former Laredo Police Officer Eliseo Montes, Jr., age 33, was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for his involvement in a conspiracy to distribute large amounts of marijuana, announced U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman, Western District of Texas. The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service(IRS) Criminal Investigation Division, the Irving Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement—Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Waco Police Department, and the Laredo Police Department.
A federal jury in Waco, Texas, found Montes guilty of two counts of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana and conspiracy to commit money laundering on December 20, 2012. On Wednesday, United States District Judge Walter S. Smith, Jr., sentenced Montes terms of imprisonment of 240 months on each count to run concurrently, and a $1,000 fine on each count. Judge Smith remanded Montes to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service following sentencing.
According to court records, members of the conspiracy acquired marijuana from sources in Mexico and distributed it in Waco and Dallas, Texas, as well as other states. Evidence at trial established that Montes invested in quantities of the marijuana. In January 2009, while employed as a Patrol Sergeant with the Laredo Police Department, Montes assisted members of the conspiracy by staging a traffic stop to help two conspirators avoid paying a debt they owed for marijuana. Montes and the coconspirators staged the stop to make it appear to the marijuana supplier that law enforcement had seized monies purportedly intended to pay the marijuana debt. Montes was paid for his assistance. The conspirators conducted various financial transactions with various banking institutions to conceal the profits from the sale of marijuana.
Assistant United States Attorney Mary Kucera prosecuted this case on behalf of the Government.