A former Houston cop was sentenced to 30 years behind bars after being found guilty of using his badge to provide guns, body armor and even sensitive law enforcement information to crooks connected to Mexico’s Zetas drug cartel.
Noe Juarez, 47, was convicted earlier this year in a federal drug conspiracy case in which he was secretly videotaped in uniform making the illicit deals outside a nightclub where he worked as head of security.
Juarez was selling guns and gear out of the trunk of his car and the goods then would be handed off to members of a cocaine trafficking ring with ties in Texas, Louisiana and other U.S. states as well as Mexico.
The cocaine being trafficked into the U.S. belonged to the Zetas cartel and Juarez held a key role by providing law enforcement sensitive information — he allegedly ran license plates and shared police tactics and activities with conspirators.
Juarez is a former U.S. Marine who was with the Houston police force for 20 years.
"The cartel's efforts to infiltrate law enforcement are not limited to Mexico," said Stephen Azzam, special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in New Orleans, according to the Houston Chronicle. "They want to do it here as well and we can't let them."