WACO (March 7, 2013)--A former Laredo police officer was sentenced to federal prison Wednesday after earlier being found guilty of conspiring to traffic more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana through Central Texas.
U.S. District Judge Walter S. Smith sentenced Eliseo Montes, Jr., to serve 20 years in federal prison, to be followed by 5 years on supervised release, and ordered him to pay a $1,000 fine and $100 in special assessment to the court.
Last December a federal court jury found Montes guilty on two counts of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute at least 1,000 kilograms of marijuana.
That amounts to about a ton of marijuana.
At the time of the conviction, U.S. Attorney's office spokesman Daryl Fields said during the time of the alleged marijuana conspiracy, Montes was a patrol officer with the Laredo Police Department.
The indictment says beginning in October 2004, Montes, in conjunction with several others, conspired to buy large quantities of controlled substances for later sale and brought some of the contraband to Central Texas for distribution.
The indictment alleges the sales were completed on a 'front" basis, which means the drugs were sold on consignment and the proceeds were later collected from the sellers.
Once the money was collected from the sellers, the funds were channeled through U.S. banks and the currency was laundered and was then used to buy more drugs for sale.
Court documents also indicate the U.S. Attorney is seeking to forfeit $2 million from the defendants, which the government says was profit in the drug scheme, plus any other property that could have been acquired during the conspiracy.