Donna cop accused of helping undercover DEA agent move drugs

Records: Sergeant performed traffic stop in area to distract police

Another Rio Grande Valley law enforcement officer has been caught allegedly helping move drugs for a man he believed to be a drug trafficker but in fact was working with federal agents, records show.

In a four-page criminal complaint unsealed Wednesday morning, government prosecutors allege Alejandro Martinez Sr., a longtime Valley police officer helped a man he believed to be a drug trafficker move cocaine through the city in exchange for $1,500, records show.

But instead of a drug trafficker, the more than 20-year police veteran was dealing with a confidential source working for the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Martinez faces at least two counts, one related to his involvement in a drug conspiracy, and one count of distribution of a controlled substance, records show.

According to the complaint, Martinez met with a man in late January who needed Martinez to provide “safe passage” for a load of drugs through the city the police officer had worked for more than a decade.

The confidential informant, referred to “CS” in the complaint, met with Martinez on Jan. 31 in the parking lot of the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle, in San Juan.

During this meeting, Martinez, who was terminated by the Donna Police Department late Tuesday afternoon after news of his arrest was made public, allegedly discussed with the informant a plan to move drugs through Donna — going as far as letting the informant know when he would be working as the patrol sergeant — making it easier for the man to move the drugs through the city undetected.

“The (informant) had been provided a recording device to record their conservation. The (informant) discussed with Martinez (their) intent to traffic narcotics through the City of Donna, Texas. Martinez agreed to provide safe passage of illegal narcotics through the city and thereafter orally identified his work schedule when he would be working as a City of Donna Police Patrol Sergeant,” the complaint stated.

The complaint alleges that during the meeting, Martinez agreed to help the informant move drugs through the city he was sworn to protect in exchange for cash. He additionally told the informant to contact a man named Victor Vallejo, who would coordinate the movement of the drugs.

“Lastly, Martinez stated that the CS knows what is ‘fair’ to pay (Martinez) for providing safe passage of the illegal narcotics through the city of Donna,” the document stated.

More than three weeks later, Martinez and Vallejo executed the plan discussed in late January with the DEA informant.

On Feb. 25, just after 11 p.m., during Martinez’s shift as patrol sergeant, the informant and another DEA undercover agent drove a vehicle loaded with 5 kilos of cocaine through Donna.

Prior to the aforementioned duo’s trip through the city, the informant and Martinez spoke.

“…Martinez told the (informant) to ‘go for it,’ and ‘I got you,’” the document stated.

“A surveillance team was established along the predetermined route and observed the (informant and undercover agent) vehicle drive through the City of Donna,” the record shows.

While the vehicle was traveling through the city, Vallejo allegedly was following them in a different vehicle while also communicating with Martinez, and the purported drug traffickers.

“Vallejo further informs the (informant and undercover agent) that Martinez would make a traffic stop along this route. The (informant) understood that Martinez would perform a traffic stop in order to distract other police units that may be in the area,” the complaint stated.

Vallejo attempted to assuage the undercover and informant by stating the traffic stop by Martinez was “just for show.”

Subsequently, the longtime cop pulled over another vehicle at roughly 12:15 a.m. for a traffic stop along the route the undercover agent and informant drove by.

“An agent observed the police officer outside of the patrol unit and positively identified the police officer as Martinez,” the document stated.

Once the escort of the cocaine through the city was complete, surveillance teams observed as Vallejo drove to a carwash location in Donna. Martinez subsequently met up with Vallejo at the carwash.

Just before 1 a.m. the informant contacted Martinez to discuss the payment related to the cocaine that was just moved.

“Martinez states to the (informant) that Vallejo will be (Martinez’s) ‘middleman’ for receiving the payment,” the document stated. “Shortly after, Vallejo and Martinez met the (informant) in a Whataburger parking lot in Donna, Texas. The (informant) paid Martinez $1,500 in cash for his assistance in the escort and the safe passage of narcotics through the City of Donna. Vallejo accepted the payment on behalf of Martinez.”

On Wednesday morning, both Martinez and Vallejo made their respective initial appearances via videoconference before Magistrate Judge J. Scott Hacker, records show.

During the respective hearings, the court advised the men of the allegations against them. Court notes show Martinez and Vallejo agreed to retain their own personal attorney.

Both men were remanded into federal custody pending separate bond hearings, currently scheduled for Friday afternoon before Hacker.

If convicted of the drug conspiracy charges, the defendants face several years in federal prison.


lzazueta@themonitor.com