A member of a large drug trafficking and money laundering operation
was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison Friday.
Hector Omero Rodriguez, 35, of Allen, pleaded guilty in June to one
count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute, one
count of distribution of cocaine, and one count of conspiracy to
conduct money laundering.
According to Kathy Colvin, U.S. District Attorney's office
spokeswoman, Rodriguez was one of 22 members of the illegal operation
that led the Drug Enforcement Administration to conduct an
investigation named "Project Reckoning." In the operation, which
included both "Operation Dos Equis" - an investigation into a Mexican
cocaine distribution organization - and "Operation Vertigo" - an
investigation of a methamphetamine distribution organization - more
than $1 million in cash, about 300 kilograms of cocaine, about 400
pounds of methamphetamines and about 20 weapons were seized.
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The arrest of a former Collin County deputy constable who allegedly
protected an international drug ring in exchange for cocaine while
working in Frisco has come as a surprise to local authorities.
Melissa resident Robert Benavidez, 41, was arrested July 8 and
charged with six counts of abuse of official capacity. He was
indicted by the Collin County Grand Jury on all six counts Tuesday.
He is being held at the Collin County Jail on $1.5 million bond.
According to arrest records, Benavidez periodically checked the
National Crime Information Center computer database to determine if
his cousin and leader of a North Texas drug cell, Sergio Maldonado of
McKinney, had any warrants out for his arrest. He is also accused of
using a database to check the registration for license plates that
Maldonado thought may be on law enforcement officials' vehicles.
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A Collin County District court jury found a former Frisco Police Department
narcotics detective guilty of one felony count of falsely reporting details
about a drug bust in central Frisco in July 2003.
Jonathan Cain, 32, a 10-year police veteran, had worked for the Frisco PD
from March 2001 until he was fired on July 31, 2003 when the Frisco Police
Department's Criminal Investigations Division presented the criminal cases
against him before the Collin County Grand Jury.
He was sentenced to six months in prison -- the minimum prison time for the
state jail felony. His attorney, John Heath of Nacogdoches, said he would
appeal the conviction this week and try to get Cain released on bond. Cain
faced five years of prison time on the two counts. According to a source in
the Collin County District Attorney's Office, no record of an appeal was
seen as of yesterday.
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