Deputy Geovani Hernandez arrested following a year-long sting operation
Hernandez, 43, ran for sheriff in Hidalgo County twice, in 2012 and 2014
By 2010, the officer had allegedly worked as a police officer in six departments
It has now emerged that he had connections with high level Mexican cartels, including slain Gulf Cartel boss, Juan Manuel Loza-Salinas
He was finally undone in year-long investigation called ‘Operation Blue Shame’
During the sting, he told informant he had made cash through drug connections
A Texas police sergeant who aspired to become a county sheriff funded his failed political campaign with drug money, officials have claimed.
Best known challenging former Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevio during the Democratic Party primary in 2012,
Geovani Hernandez also ran for sheriff in Hidalgo County in 2014, promising the locals he could protect them from the drugs and violence spilling over the border from Mexico.
‘What happens here affects the rest of the United States of America,’ Hernandez, 43, told the Rio Grande Guardian at the time.
After his 2014 loss, Hernandez took over the Police chief of the small town of La Joya in February 2014. he was there less than a year.
The sergeant with the Progresso Police Department has been accused of helping drug traffickers in exchange for money, federal prosecutors announced Monday.
Giovani Hernandez, 43, was arrested on Saturday, and charged Monday morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dorina Ramos with aiding and abetting the attempt to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine.
During a year-long investigation in which informants wore hidden recording devices, he admitted to working with the Mexico-based Gulf Cartel and using it to finance his political career, the Washington Post reports.
Hernandez who promised the locals he could protect them from the drugs and violence spilling over the border from Mexico while running for sheriff, funded his failed political campaign with drug money, officials have claimed.
Still from a hernandez political campaign video
The case against Hernandez began in August 2016 when a confidential informant received a tip that police officers, Hernandez included, were helping drug runners.
Hernandez even appeared in a music video in 2016 for a ‘narcocorrido’ – a genre of of Mexican folk songs which celebrate criminals – in which he played the part of a corrupt cop.
He could be seen performing a raid in the song ‘6000 kilos’ by Gerardo Hernandez which also featured several busy and scantily clad women lounging by a luxurious swimming pool.
The informant approached the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations division and so began ‘Operation Blue Shame’.
A second informant was sent to meet with Hernandez in May this year. During the meeting, the cop allegedly boasted that he was ‘close friends’ with slain Gulf Cartel boss Juan Manuel Loza-Salinas.
Hernandez [photo], was caught after a year-long sting
Hernandez [left], even in a 2016 music video for a ‘narcocorrido’ – a genre of of Mexican folk songs which celebrate exploits of drug kingpins – in which he played the part of a corrupt cop
He said the connection allowed him to travel into cartel territory ‘without any problems’ and that he needed money to fund his campaign for Hidalgo County Constable.
Hernandez then agreed to run license plate checks for some non-existent cars the informant said he wanted to sneak across the border for $1,000, according to court papers.
Once he had established trust with Hernandez, the informant reportedly asked for help in transporting a car with ‘items’ across Texas for split of $10,000.
The cop told him ‘not to tell him what the vehicle would be transporting, not to discuss any details on their current cellphones, and to buy new cellphones,’ court documents stated.
Authorities loaded the car with 10kg of powder, one of which was actual cocaine, in July and Hernandez did indeed help its transport.
He was arrested and brought before US Magistrate Judge Dorina Ramos on August 14 and now faces charges of aiding and abetting, attempt to posses with intent to distribute a controlled substance.
Former Sergeant Geovani Hernandez lasted less than a year as the police chief of the small town of La Joya
If proven, it will be a dramatic fall from grace for a decorated cop who first began working as a jailer with the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office in 1996, according to KRGV.
By 2010, he had allegedly worked as a police officer in six departments: Progreso, Alamo, Pharr, La Joya, Weslaco and La Villa.
When he reigned from his post as La Joya Police Chief in 2015, Geovani Hernandez he had been on the job, less than a year after taking over the small-town police department.
Hernandez, though, said he completed the one-year commitment with the Police Department and planned to start two private ventures: a security consulting company and a treatment center for substance abuse.