Charges dropped against former Sullivan City police chief

Former Sullivan City police chief Miguel Martinez stands when called in a case charging him with theft and abuse of official capacity on Feb. 13, 2023. (Xavier Alvarez | The Monitor)

The charges against a former Sullivan City police chief were ultimately dropped Wednesday after seven years since his initial indictment.

Miguel Angel Martinez, 43, had been charged with theft and two counts of abuse of official capacity after he allegedly allowed former Sullivan City police officer, Angel De La Mora, to take marijuana from the evidence storage room on May 21, 2015.

Court documents say that Martinez unlawfully appropriated more than four ounces but less than five pounds of marijuana from the police department. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The dismissal follows a successful motion to suppress evidence and testimony in the case due to an illegal search and seizure.

A previous appellate ruling stated that another officer, Sgt. Daniel Duran, testified that he observed De La Mora place “some green leafy substance into a bottle and he closed the cap on it.”

De La Mora later approached Duran and told him that he was putting the marijuana in bottles of alcohol for his father’s medical purposes.

Duran stated that he didn’t say anything at the time because Martinez had dispatched him to a call, but he later became suspicious and reviewed surveillance footage from the evidence room which showed De La Mora taking the marijuana.

De La Mora was later arrested and entered a guilty plea to the charge of abuse of official capacity which garnered him two years probation and suspension of his law enforcement license.

Duran had turned to Texas Ranger Bobby Garcia with the evidence who later testified that Martinez saw De La Mora leave the department with the bottles, but then said that Duran had a duty to arrest his fellow officer.

However, Garcia didn’t file charges against Duran because “he was a witness who came forward with information.”

Judy Davila, who was Sullivan City’s city manager at the time, stated that she suspended both De La Mora and Duran but not Martinez because she didn’t believe he had violated any policy.