Court grants bond to Donna cop caught in DEA sting

Records: Sergeant accepted $1,500 to help purported smugglers

A federal magistrate agreed Friday to grant a bond for a Donna sergeant accused of taking cash from a man he thought was a drug smuggler in exchange for his help moving drugs, records show.

Former Donna Sgt. Alejandro Martinez Sr. spent the weekend in custody after Magistrate J. Scott Hacker granted the now-former cop a $75,000 bond during a detention hearing Friday afternoon.

According to court notes, Martinez, who appeared via videoconference, was granted the bond after the government told the court it was not opposed to granting one to the more than 20-year law enforcement veteran, despite his alleged offense.

Martinez and another man, Victor Vallejo, are accused of helping a man they believed was a drug smuggler move cocaine through the city with the help of Martinez’s police know-how.

But instead of a drug trafficker, Martinez was dealing with a confidential source working for the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Martinez now faces at least two counts, one for 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 him to provide “safe passage” for a load of drugs through the city for which the police officer had worked for more than a decade.

The confidential informant, referred to as “CS” in the complaint, met with Martinez 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, later identified as 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.

Just after 11 p.m. on Feb. 25, 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 trip, 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 agent and informant by saying 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 taken by the undercover agent and informant.

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

Once the cocaine was escorted through the city, surveillance teams saw Vallejo drive to a carwash location in Donna, where he subsequently met up with Martinez.

Just before 1 a.m., the informant contacted Martinez to discuss the payment related to the cocaine that had just been 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.”

According to court notes, Martinez appeared via videoconference for a release hearing Monday and was waiting for bond to be posted.

Vallejo, who was in court Friday via videoconference for his respective detention hearing, was also granted a bond and was set for release Monday, records show.

If convicted of the drug charges, both men face up to 10 years in federal prison.