Corruption on the border--Sheriff sells out to Gulf Cartel

San Antonio Express-News/Houston Chronicle:

Former Starr County Sheriff Reymundo Guerra was sentenced Thursday to five years and four months in federal prison for helping Gulf Cartel operatives move marijuana and cocaine through his remote border county.

In assessing the sentence, Federal Judge Randy Crane said he took into account that while Guerra held a high-profile job, this role in the matter was relatively minor.

“It is a stain on the badge when someone in your high-level position engages in organized crime like this. For really pennies and nickels, you were influenced by these people,” Crane said.

Guerra, 52, was charged in October in an indictment alleging he and 14 others were part of a cross-border conspiracy uncovered through a federal investigation dubbed “Operation Carlito's Weigh.” Since then, more defendants have been added.

Guerra pleaded guilty in May, when his trial was scheduled to begin, to the most serious charge of conspiracy as part of a plea agreement that lessened the offense level and dropped the other charges.

If convicted of the original charges, he faced up to life in prison.


The judge seems to think he sold out at a pretty cheap price. His predecessor as Star County sheriff was also convicted on corruption charges. The good news is that "Evidence included tapped phone calls, surveillance records, and statements from at least one insider in the sheriff's office." Apparently there was at least one hones man in the sheriff's office.


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