Federal agents allegedly caught a U.S. Border Patrol agent involved in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine and methamphetamine.
Eulalio M. Rodriguez, a U.S. Border Patrol agent stationed in Zapata, allegedly worked with two other men, Arturo Trejo and Gumercindo Vasquez-Guerrero, to distribute a large quantity of cocaine and meth, records show.
The investigation into the agent began in August 2020 when federal agents secured a warrant from a federal judge to tap the cellphone of Adrian Delgado Sr., an undocumented man from Mexico, the complaint filed against Hernandez on March 30 stated.
“On or about August 12, 2020, FBI agents intercepted a communication indication that (Delgado), would be traveling with (Rodriguez) to Laredo, Texas. In this investigation, agents have determined that (Delgado) is (undocumented) with no status to be in the United States,” the record showed. “FBI agents also learned (Rodriguez) is a United States Border Patrol (USBP) agent assigned to USBP Station Zapata, Texas and resides in Zapata and Harlingen, Texas.”
The intercepted communication allegedly indicated Rodriguez would go with Delgado to an attorney’s office to “address” Delgado’s criminal history as part of his attempt to obtain legal status in the U.S., the record showed.
In January, a person identified in court records as “Individual A” met with the Border Patrol agent in the parking lot of a Harlingen business.
“Rodriguez arrived in civilian clothes driving his personal vehicle. Rodriguez exited his vehicle and entered ‘Individual A’s’ vehicle,” the document stated. “During the meeting, Rodriguez stated that the female Rodriguez mentioned at the prior meeting was willing to transport the illegal narcotics for ‘Individual A’ at $2,000 USD per kilogram versus the previously offered price of $1,000 USD per kilogram.”
Subsequently, “Individual A” declined due to the high price and informed Rodriguez that the kilograms of cocaine and meth would be concealed inside an ice chest in order to prevent detection by law enforcement.
Five days later, on Jan. 25, Rodriguez called “Individual A” and told them that the woman had changed her mind and would transport the narcotics for $1,000 per kilo.
In another text message exchange between Rodriguez and “Individual A” on Feb. 9, Rodriguez introduced an unknown person to “Individual A” as the person who would be transporting 20 kilograms of cocaine and meth, the record showed.
The unknown driver, later identified as Trejo, was hired by Rodriguez to transport the load of narcotics. Rodriguez informed “Individual A” that he was to be paid instead of Trejo.
Federal agents also intercepted communication between Trejo and “Individual A” regarding the pending pickup of narcotics, the criminal complaint stated.
On Feb. 11, “Individual A” called Trejo to let him know he was waiting for him in the parking lot of a business in Harlingen. Trejo advised “Individual A” that he had changed the plan and sent Vasquez-Guerrero instead.
Both “Individual A” and Vasquez-Guerrero met at an agreed location and an ice chest was loaded into a vehicle. Vasquez-Guerrero later confirmed the drugs were hidden inside the ice chest because he called them “cuadros,” the complaint stated. Vasquez-Guerrero then followed “Individual A” to a location north of Edinburg.
Vasquez-Guerrero and “Individual A” were in contact via cellphone during the transport to make sure everything was “okay” because the weather was becoming an issue.
The following day, “Individual A” contacted Rodriguez. During this call, the agent instructed “Individual A” to meet him in the parking lot of a sporting goods store in McAllen, where “Individual A” later gave Rodriguez $10,000 in cash, the document stated.
Trejo, 39, Vasquez-Guerrero, 70, were arrested Thursday and made their respective initial appearances before a magistrate Friday, records show.
According to court notes, the 35-year-old Border Patrol agent was arrested Thursday. He made his initial appearance Friday, when the court found probable cause to keep him in custody pending his detention hearing scheduled for Wednesday.
If convicted of the drug conspiracy and distribution charges, all three men face up to 10 years in federal prison.