Authorities say a former police officer was sentenced Wednesday for his involvement in a conspiracy to distribute large amounts of marijuana.
A federal jury in Waco, Texas found former Laredo police officer Eliseo Montes, Jr., 33, guilty of two counts of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana and conspiracy to commit money laundering on Dec. 20, 2012.
According to court records, members of the conspiracy acquired marijuana from sources in Mexico and distributed it in Waco and Dallas, Texas, as well as other states. Evidence at trial established that Montes invested in quantities of the marijuana.
In Jan. 2009, while employed as a Patrol Sergeant with the Laredo Police Department, authorities said Montes assisted members of the conspiracy by staging a traffic stop to help two conspirators avoid paying a debt they owed for marijuana.
Authorities say Montes and the coconspirators staged the stop to make it appear to the marijuana supplier that law enforcement had seized monies purportedly intended to pay the marijuana debt. Officials said Montes was paid for his assistance.
The conspirators conducted various financial transactions with various banking institutions to conceal the profits from the sale of marijuana, said authorities.
U.S. District Judge Walter S. Smith, Jr. sentenced Montes terms of imprisonment of 240 months on each count to run concurrently, and a $1,000 fine on each count.