Officer under suspicion of helping armed robbers

By Andy Cerota - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - A Houston police officer has been relieved of duty with pay pending the outcome of an interal affairs investigation into criminal conduct.

A source tells Local 2 that Houston police Officer Joel Quezada helped the four men indicted and charged in a multimillion-dollar armored van heist at the University of Houston in December 2013.

Quezada allegedly monitored the police scanners for traffic and received a small cut of the cash for doing so, according to the source. So far, Quezada has not been charged with a crime.

Quezada has been on the force for six years and is assigned to HPD's traffic division. According to court documents, one of the suspects, 23-year-old Ronald Dean Richards, did a test run of the route by driving by the University of Houston the day before the crime was committed.

When the armored van was recovered in a UH parking garage, the FBI said some of the money was missing. Richards had allegedly loaded the cash from the van into two getaway vehicles and divided the money with two of his accomplices. Richards' attorney told Local 2 he could not comment on the case.

The president of the Houston Police Officers Union says Quezada has not contacted them for legal representation.

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