Former El Paso Police Officer Sentenced for Drug Conspiracy
EL PASO – A former El Paso police officer was sentenced today to 24 months in prison for her involvement in a conspiracy to maintain a drug-involved premise.
According to court documents, Monica Garcia, 24, conspired with Fred Saenz, her stepfather and co-defendant, to use Saenz’s residence to distribute cocaine. Agents determined that Saenz was using his residence and a separate stash location to store and distribute cocaine. Garcia used her position as an El Paso police officer to provide information that helped Saenz avoid detection by law enforcement while he distributed cocaine. Her activities included conducting counter-surveillance and running license plate registrations to identify undercover police vehicles near the residence and stash house.
On November 10, 2020, agents seized $14,405 from Saenz’s residence and 1.2 kilograms of cocaine from a stash house he used. During the investigation undercover agents bought quantities of cocaine from Saenz at his residence.
On July 26, 2021, Fred Saenz pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute over 500 grams of cocaine. On November 1, 2021, Saenz was sentenced to 42 months in prison and ordered to forfeit $14,405 derived from the drug conspiracy.
On August 9, 2021, Garcia pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to maintain a drug-involved premise.
“Drug traffickers will stop at nothing, including trying to infiltrate law enforcement. But we can't let them,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Greg Millard, El Paso Division. “DEA and its local, state, and federal partners will remain diligent in finding and prosecuting anyone who supports, funds, or aids the cartels.”
“Thanks to the collaboration between the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the El Paso Police Department we were able to see that justice was done in this case,” said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff. “This sentence is a message that corruption, at any level, will not be tolerated.”
“An officer that chooses to violate their oath has no place in law enforcement and this case serves as an example that the El Paso Police Department does not condone and will not tolerate such conduct by any officer of this department,” said El Paso Chief of Police Greg Allen. “I would like to thank the DEA and Special Agent in Charge at the time, Kyle Williamson, for taking the lead in investigating the case. I would also like to thank and commend the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas for the successful prosecution and subsequent sentencing.”
The DEA’s El Paso Division and the El Paso Police Department’s Narcotics Unit and Special Investigations Unit investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Williams and Steven Spitzer prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.