Alabama National Guardsman arrested for attempting to transport cocaine in Hidalgo County

A member of the Alabama National Guard appeared before a judge Tuesday after he was arrested for attempting to transport cocaine while in uniform and driving a Border Patrol vehicle in Hidalgo County on Monday.

Derrick Terelle Sankey, 21, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Scott Hacker for his initial appearance Tuesday morning.

U.S. Homeland Security Investigations agents received information on Sept. 8 that led them to believe Sankey was involved in moving and distributing narcotics, according to the criminal complaint.

Acting on that information, agents set up a sting operation on Monday where an undercover agent met with the Alabama National Guard soldier at the Whataburger in Hidalgo.

Sankey arrived wearing his military uniform and driving a Border Patrol vehicle, according to the complaint. He asked the undercover agent for the package he agreed to pick up and was arrested by HSI special agents.

He was interviewed after the arrest and Sankey admitted he intended to pick up the drugs and take them to the DoubleTree hotel in McAllen.

“Sankey admitted that he believed the person he received the package from had brought the package from Mexico into the United States. Sankey admitted that he was to be paid $1,000 for his efforts,” the criminal complaint stated.

Judge Hacker, who was assessing Sankey’s financial resources to determine whether a public defendant would be appointed, said during the initial appearance that the soldier had a “substantial amount of money in checking and savings accounts.”

Sankey was determined to be a flight risk and will be held temporarily without bond until a detention hearing, which was set for Friday.

NOTE: The headline has been updated to better reflect the charges the accused is facing.