NEW ORLEANS - A former Houston police officer has been sentenced to 30 years and 5 months in prison for his role in a large-scale drug conspiracy.
Noe Juarez was convicted on Jan. 15, 2015, by a federal jury of conspiracy to possess and distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine and a separate conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offense.
“This prosecution is the result of significant collaboration by local, state and federal agencies across Louisiana and Texas,” U.S. Attorney Kenneth Allen Polite said in a statement. “Their collective work ensures that a crooked cop will now spend over 30 years in prison for pouring more illegal guns and drugs onto our streets.”
Authorities said Juarez assisted an organization responsible for distributing hundreds of kilos of cocaine throughout the United States, including Jackson, Mississippi; Pensacola, Florida; New York City, Detroit; Baltimore, Maryland; Dover, Delaware; and Houma, Louisiana.
Evidence in court showed that Juarez, a veteran officer, became involved with an international drug conspiracy spearheaded by brothers Efrain and Sergio Grimaldo. The group was responsible for distributing thousands of kilograms of cocaine throughout the United States.
Officials said the drugs were supplied by the Los Zetas drug cartel in Mexico.
Juarez played a pivotal role, providing sensitive information about law enforcement, including running license plates and sharing police tactics and activities with conspirators, according to court documents. He also supplied vehicles, body armor and semi-automatic handguns and assault rifles to the conspirators, some of which ended up among senior cartel leaders in Mexico.
“The cartel’s efforts to infiltrate law enforcement are not limited to Mexico. They want to do it here as well, and we can't let them,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Stephen Azzam. “We must and will remain diligent in finding and prosecuting anyone who supports, funds or aids the cartels.
"Noe Juarez’s conduct unfairly tarnishes the proud reputation of law enforcement officers in this country who put their lives on the line every day to protect our residents and their communities. By doing so, he not only violated his duties as a police officer, but also endangered fellow law enforcement officers and the public trust/faith through his actions.”
Assistant U..S. Attorneys John F. Murphy, Theodore Carter and James Baehr were in charge of the prosecution.