Ex-West Texas police officer who helped stepfather deal cocaine learns her punishment
EL PASO, Texas (KWTX) - Monica Garcia, 24, a former El Paso police officer, on Thursday was sentenced to two years in prison for her involvement in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine.
According to court documents, Garcia conspired with Fred Saenz, her stepfather and co-defendant, to use Saenz’s residence to distribute cocaine.
Federal agents determined Saenz was using his residence and a separate stash location to store and distribute cocaine.
Prosecutors said 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.
Her activities included conducting counter-surveillance and running license plate registrations to identify undercover police vehicles near the residence and stash house.
On November 10, 2020, agents seized $14,405 from Saenz’s residence and 1.2 kilograms of cocaine from a stash house.
During the investigation undercover agents bought quantities of cocaine from Saenz at his residence.
On July 26, 2021, Saenz pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute over 500 grams of cocaine. On November 1, 2021, he was sentenced to 42 months in prison and ordered to forfeit $14,405 derived from the drug conspiracy.
On August 9, 2021, Garcia pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to maintain a drug-involved premise.
“This sentence is a message that corruption, at any level, will not be tolerated,” said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff.
“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.
The DEA and the El Paso Police Department’s Narcotics Unit and Special Investigations Unit investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Williams and Steven Spitzer prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.
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