Pharr police officer pleads guilty in Zetas weapons for cocaine case
Wed, 22 Dec 2010 21:17:40 GMT —
A former Pharr police officer has pleaded guilty in an organized crime case where he was accused of being on a drug cartel's payroll.
Former Pharr police officer Jaime Beas appeared before U.S. District Court Judge Randy Crane in McAllen on Wednesday morning.
Court records show that 33-year-old Beas pleaded guilty to an organized crime charge.
Judge Crane ordered that Beas remain in custody without bond until his March 9th sentencing.
Court records show that Beas admitted to being on the payroll of the Zetas drug cartel.
Action 4 News was the first media outlet to report that Beas was arrested in a "weapons for cocaine" scheme back in July.
FBI agents had set up a sting operation where Beas tried to broker a deal for high-powered assault rifles and body armor that were supposed to be sent to the Zetas drug cartel south of the border.
Court records show that Beas would also get paid $4,000 dollars to use his patrol car to escort illegal drugs through the City of Pharr.
Pharr's police chief fired Beas from his job shortly after his arrest.
Public records show that the 33-year-old former police officer lived at 2508 East Fresno Avenue in Hidalgo.
Property records show the homeowner is Gregoria E Bazaldua Candanosa but court records show the real owner is a member of the Zetas drug cartel.
The court records show that Beas and his wife helped broker the sale of the home where the Zetas member paid $380,000 dollars in cash.
The Zetas member also bought a home off South 31st Street in Hidalgo.
Beas lived at the East Fresno Avenue home but told investigators that he the caretaker of both homes and looked after several vehicles kept there.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in McAllen filed a civil lawsuit for the forfeiture of four luxury vehicle belonging to the alleged Zetas drug cartel member.
FBI agents reported seizing a 2009 Audi Quatro, 2009 Toyota Tacoma Pick-up and a 2008 Chrysler 300 at the East Fresno Avenue home.
Authorities also seized a 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee at the South 31st Street home.
Beas told investigators that the cars and the homes were all purchased using with drug money.
A hearing the forfeiture is expected to be held in McAllen's federal court on February 2nd.