A jury convicted former La Joya Police Chief Geovani Hernandez on drug trafficking charges. U.S. District Judge Randy Crane ordered Hernandez to wait in jail until his May 21 sentencing.
Hernandez, 44, was found guilty on charges of aiding and abetting the attempt to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine while working with the Gulf Cartel.
Hernandez, a Weslaco resident at the time, was employed as a sergeant with the Progreso Police Department at the time of his arrest.
Investigators accused Hernandez of accepting bribes from drug traffickers to guard cocaine shipments and swapping cash for information, according to the federal criminal complaint against him. Hernandez also claimed to know Juan Manuel “El Toro” Loza-Salinas, the former Gulf Cartel plaza boss for Reynosa.
The federal judge’s decision comes three days after trial proceedings where witnesses took the stand to testify against Hernandez.
Hector Obed-Saucedo, an informant, testified Hernandez gave his police badge to show to the cartels that, “they had someone from law enforcement on their side.”
A second witness, Arturo Cuellar Jr., said he had known Hernandez since he was a child and started working together when they filmed a short video together in Mission.
Cuellar testified Hernandez would help him pass drugs in Mission and use code words.
“We would say ‘carpets’ in the car, but it was ‘weed — mota,” Cuellar said.
Cuellar said they would sell the marijuana for $280.00 per pound.
The criminal complaint against Hernandez alleged he agreed to provide protection for a vehicle he believed contained a controlled substance through the Progreso area. In return for his assistance, Hernandez allegedly revived approximately $5,000.
Multiple law enforcement agencies including Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, Drug Enforcement Administration and IRS – Criminal Investigations conducted the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Investigation, which was dubbed Operation Blue Shame.