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      Pharr police officer named in weapons for cocaine scheme

      A Pharr police officer has been fired after being named in a scheme to buy weapons and bulletproof vests for Mexican drug cartels in exchange for cocaine.

      U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents arrested Officer Jaime Beas following an undercover sting operation.

      Court documents released Monday show that Beas, who went the nickname "Chino", was trying to acquire assault rifles and bulletproofs vests.

      A relative told FBI agents was Beas was a corrupt cop resulting in a sting operation where two investigators posed as Marines who agreed to deliver the military goods.

      Beas and another man identified as "El Cubano" met the undercover agents at a McAllen hotel room on Friday, July 9th where they allegedly paid $3,000 dollars for an M-16 assault rifle and a bulletproof vest.

      Court records show that El Cubano intended to take the weapon and bulletproof vest south of the border where he would get paid in cocaine by a drug cartel.

      A criminal complaint for Beas was signed on Saturday, July 10th but the officer did not make a court appearance until Monday morning in McAllen.

      U.S. Magistrate Judge Dorina Ramos ordered that Beas remain in custody until a Wednesday afternoon hearing.

      Pharr Police Chief Ruben Villescas released the following statement on the case:

      On Friday July 9th 2010 ex-Pharr Police Officer Jaime Beas, 33 yoa, a 6-year veteran of the department was arrested by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Mcallen, Texas on federal charge of Exportation of Defense Articles.

      On July 10th 2010 a Federal Criminal Complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas in Mcallen, Texas. On this date July 12, 2010 Mr. Jaime Beas was terminated from the Pharr Police Department.

      The arrest and complaint stems from Mr. Beas conspiring with others to export defense articles that included an M-16 Rifle and a bulletproof vest. It is believed that the articles were to be delivered to Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations. The criminal conduct Mr. Beas engaged in occurred while off-duty.

      This act of criminal conduct by a law enforcement officer will not be allowed to tear through the fabric of community built relationships made of integrity, trust, pride and honor that officers have worked hard to bring together in their pursuit of preserving the oath they took to serve and protect.

      This department will work on identifying pre-employment and post-employment integrity check mechanisms in efforts of further protecting our hard earned integrity and trust.

      Chief Ruben Villescas