Former security guard accused of masquerading as a police officer
While patrolling the border Saturday afternoon, a Mission policeman spotted something odd: a white Chevrolet Tahoe with red-and-blue emergency lights.
The policeman — working a grant-funded border security detail called Operation Stonegarden — stopped the Tahoe near the La Lomita chapel for a traffic infraction.
Border Patrol suspected the Tahoe had arrived to transport people who illegally crossed the Rio Grande near the chapel, according to the criminal complaint. Agents heard the driver might be a firefighter from San Manuel.
Moises Carrizales, 28, of Edinburg initially said “the San Manuel Fire Department” provided him with lights for the Tahoe, according to the criminal complaint. Later, though, he told a Mission Police Department investigator the lights were movie props.
Whether or not Carrizales actually worked for the Linn-San Manuel Volunteer Fire Department remains unclear.
Police contacted the fire department, but never heard back according to the criminal complaint. Volunteer Fire Chief Jaime Guzman said he didn't know Carrizales personally, but heard that Carrizales stopped working for the department roughly five years ago.
Carrizales did work for Valley Metro Security until July 30, according to the company. He's a non-commissioned security officer registered with the Texas Department of Public Safety.
When the policeman searched the Tahoe, he found a law enforcement badge, a two-way radio, ammunition and a t-shirt with a law enforcement union logo, according to the criminal complaint.
Carrizales is charged with false identification as a peace officer, a Class B misdemeanor.
Mission Municipal Judge Horacio Pena set bond at $200,000.
Court records don't list an attorney for Carrizales, who remains at the Hidalgo County jail and couldn't be reached for comment.