Update 6/13/2022 – This story has been updated to reflect additional charges filed against former officer Juan Garza Jr. and Perla Lopez.

MCALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A former McAllen PD officer was discovered in a group of individuals arrested on drug-related charges.

On Friday McAllen Police Department officers were dispatched to a Call for Service (CFS).

The reporting individual told officers she was receiving “messages from strangers” and “sees the silhouette of two people” outside her home.

According to authorities they subsequently identified her as Perla Lopez, 26, and determined her to be the same person named in an outstanding warrant for Bond Forfeiture in a Possession of Controlled Substance case from the Kendall County Sheriff’s Department.

Upon her arrest, Lopez asked officers if she could gather some of her clothing. Officers accompanied Lopez into the residence and found two male suspects and unlawful drugs in plain view, according to police.

Police said the suspects arrested were: 

  • Perla Lopez, 26, last known address McAllen, Texas. 
  • Randy Johnson Jr., 35, last known address McAllen, Texas 
  • Juan Garza Jr., 33, last known address McAllen, Texas 

Juan Garza Jr. was discovered with the group. Garza was an 11-year McAllen Police officer at the time of his arrest.

Garza resigned his position after being charged with varying drug-related charges related to this incident and his arrest was reported to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE).  

All three suspects were arrested and charged with varying drug-related charges including: 

  • Possession and Use of Volatile Chemical – Class B Misdemeanor. 
  • Possession of Marijuana – Class B Misdemeanor. 
  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – Class C Misdemeanor. 
  • Possession of Controlled Substances – Felony/2nd Degree; and/or 
  • Manufacture or Delivery of Substances in Penalty Group 1 – Felony/1st Degree. 

On Monday, June 6, 2022, the McAllen Police Department issued an update regarding additional charges.

Both former officer Juan Garza Jr. and Perla Lopez received the following charges:

  • Criminal Conspiracy:  Smuggling of Persons a State Jail Felony. 

Garza Jr. received an additional charge:

  • Misuse of Official Information a Third Degree Felony