Monday, August 09, 2021

Former El Paso Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Aid Cocaine Distribution

 EL PASO – A former El Paso police officer pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to maintain a drug-involved premise.

According to court documents, Monica Garcia, 24, conspired with Fred Saenz, her stepfather and co-defendant, to use Saenz’s residence to distribute cocaine. Agents determined that Saenz was using his residence and a separate stash location to store and distribute cocaine.  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 he used. During the investigation undercover agents bought quantities of cocaine from Saenz at his residence. 

Garcia pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to maintain a drug-involved premise. A sentencing date for Garcia has not been set.  She faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

On July 26, 2021, Fred Saenz pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute over 500 grams of cocaine. A sentencing date has not been scheduled.  Saenz faces a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff of the Western District of Texas and Special Agent in Charge Kyle Williamson of the Drug Enforcement Administration, El Paso Division made the announcement.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and the El Paso Police Department’s Narcotics Unit and Special Investigations Unit are investigating the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Williams and Steven Spitzer are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

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