An ex-El Paso Police Officer has been sentenced to two years in prison for conspiring with her stepfather to distribute cocaine.
Monica Garcia, 24, helped Fred Saenz, her stepfather and co-defendant, store and sell cocaine while she was on the job, according to a news release from the United States Attorney’s Office Western District of Texas.
“Garcia used her position as an El Paso police officer to provide information that helped Saenz avoid detection by law enforcement while he distributed cocaine,” prosecutors said. “Her activities included conducting counter-surveillance and running license plate registrations to identify undercover police vehicles near the residence and stash house.”
In December 2020, Garcia was arrested after agents seized $14,405 from Saenz’s residence and 1.2 kilograms of cocaine from an additional stash house. Garcia pleaded guilty last August to one count of conspiracy to maintain a drug-involved premise.
Saenz, who previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute over 500 grams of cocaine, was sentenced to 42 months in prison last November and ordered to forfeit $14,405 derived front the drug conspiracy.
“An officer that chooses to violate their oath has no place in law enforcement and this case serves as an example that the El Paso Police Department does not condone and will not tolerate such conduct by any officer of this department,” said El Paso Chief of Police Greg Allen.
Allen continued, “I would like to thank the DEA and Special Agent in Charge at the time, Kyle Williamson, for taking the lead in investigating the case. I would also like to thank and commend the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas for the successful prosecution and subsequent sentencing.”
“Drug traffickers will stop at nothing, including to infiltrate law enforcement. But we can’t let them. DEA and its local state and federal partners will remain diligent in finding and prosecuting anyone who supports, funds, or aids the cartels,” added DEA Special Agent in Charge Greg Millard of the El Paso Division.