Texans read a lot about crime committed by common citizens every day. Instances of drug charges, robbery or domestic violence litter media outlets in troves. Yet, it is a rare occurrence to read a story about a criminally charged police officer, accused of crimes committed while on duty as an officer of the law. That however is the main concept behind one recent incident with four Texas police officers recently.
Four Texas police officers, two from the Mission Police Department and two from the Hidalgo County Sherriff’s Department, were indicted by a grand jury on federal charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, in addition to charges of aiding and abetting.
The officers are accused of accepting money in bribes to assist in the movement of drugs. The men were participating unknowingly however in a federal sting operation. They now face the loss of their jobs, prison time and substantial fines.
A strong criminal defense will heavily assist these men in later trial if it comes to that. One major defense to federal sting operations is that of entrapment. If the men can prove that the sting operation substantially caused them to commit the crime, they may be successful is escaping a guilty verdict. Further, if evidence against the men was obtained in violation of any constitutional rights, that evidence could be withheld from being held against them later.
As police officers, these accusations mean serious consequences to the four individuals. Even if the men are ultimately exonerated, their reputations could be damaged for years to come.
Source: ABC News, “4 S. Texas officers indicted in corruption probe,” Jan. 9, 2013