Murder, crimes against children among charges filed against San Antonio law enforcement officers in 2023

BCSO deputy arrests down 40% from 2022, as severity of charges goes up

BCSO and SAPD both had nine uniform officers charged with crimes in 2023. (Joshua Saunders, KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – It’s the duty of the San Antonio Police Department and Bexar County Sheriff’s Office to uphold the law, but every year, some of these law enforcement officers find themselves in handcuffs, and this year was no different.

In 2023, nine SAPD officers and nine BCSO deputies were arrested. The charges range from driving under the influence to murder.

Here’s a look back at those arrests with details about where some of those cases now stand.


The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office saw a 40% decrease in the number of deputies arrested this year compared to last year, a KSAT Investigates analysis shows.

Nine deputies were taken into custody on a variety of criminal charges in 2023, down from 15 deputy arrests in 2022.

The severity of the charges, however, which include murder and indecency with a child, went up.

A Bexar County Sheriff’s Office corporal was arrested in San Antonio in August after being accused of killing a man while on vacation in California.

Cpl. Giovanni Ceja borrowed a vehicle from a relative on the night of Aug. 6 and later struck and killed a man on the side of Interstate 215 in Riverside County, BCSO Sheriff Javier Salazar previously said.

Ceja, who is accused of fleeing from the scene and leaving pieces of the vehicle he was driving behind, returned to San Antonio and resumed his duties with BCSO for more than a week before being taken into custody on an out-of-state warrant.

Ceja was extradited to California on Aug. 27 to face charges of driving under the influence, murder, and hit-and-run causing death, BCSO officials confirm.

Ceja was a five-year veteran of the sheriff’s office. He resigned from his position at BCSO after being taken into custody.

In July, BCSO deputy Marcus James Alexander was charged with indecency with a child, a second-degree felony.

Investigators responded to the outcry earlier that month at a west Bexar County home, where someone in the home told officials that Alexander had touched a child, took inappropriate photos and kept them on his cellphone. The incident occurred in June, officials previously said.

Following his arrest, Alexander, a two-year veteran of BCSO, was served with a proposed termination in accordance with Bexar County Civil Service rules.

Alexander is free on bond awaiting trial, court records show.

Deputy Antonio Almaraz was arrested in September after being accused of leaving his 2-month-old baby inside a vehicle alone for approximately three hours, officials previously said.

BCSO said Almaraz took his baby to a pediatric appointment at 9 a.m. and returned home after 10 a.m.

Almaraz turned off his vehicle and left his child inside the car as he went inside the home, BCSO said. At around 1 p.m., the baby was found inside the vehicle and was unresponsive.

Antonio Almaraz. (Bexar County Jail)

BCSO said an ambulance arrived at the home in the 5000 block of Mansions Bluff and transported the baby to a hospital, where the baby was listed in critical condition.

Almaraz is free on bond awaiting trial on charges of child abandonment, endangering a child and injury to a child causing serious bodily injury, court records show.

Almaraz, who had worked for BCSO for less than a year, was dismissed from his position due to his probationary status. He cannot appeal the probationary dismissal and cannot be rehired, BCSO officials said.

BCSO cadet Ricardo Gutierrez was arrested in early January after investigators said he choked his girlfriend during an argument.

The victim told deputies that Gutierrez started arguing with her because she wanted to go back to her hometown.

According to information provided by BCSO, the woman was choked “until she was unable to breathe.”

Gutierrez left the scene and reported to BCSO for his assigned shift, officials previously said.

After the victim called 911, Gutierrez was “immediately removed from his assigned working section,” according to BCSO.

Gutierrez was terminated after the incident.

Gutierrez remains free on bond awaiting trial for felony strangulation-family, court records show.

That same month, BCSO deputy Andrew Garcia was charged with two counts of official oppression, assault causing bodily injury, and harassment.

BCSO officials said Garcia shocked a cadet with a Taser weapon late last year.

Andrew Garcia. (Copyright 2023 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

Investigators said an additional cadet was also threatened by Garcia. Though the 30-year-old cadet was not stunned by Garcia, he was repeatedly harassed, officials said.

Salazar said Garcia “terrorized” the cadet by aiming the Taser’s red laser at him.

Garcia was served with termination paperwork after his arrest, officials previously said.

Garcia was indicted by a grand jury for official oppression last month, court records show.


Nine San Antonio Police Department officers faced criminal charges in 2023, a slight increase over the seven arrested in 2022.

Three SAPD officers were charged with murder in late June after shooting and killing a woman inside her Southwest Side apartment.

Sgt. Alfred Flores, Officer Eleazar Alejandro and Officer Nathaniel Villalobos are charged in 46-year-old Melissa Perez’s death.

SAPD Chief William McManus said the officers did not follow department training or policy and “used deadly force, which was not reasonable given all the circumstances as we now understand them.”

Perez was experiencing a mental health crisis and had a hammer in her hand when police shot her through a patio window and door, McManus said.

Melissa Perez, 46, was shot and killed by three San Antonio Police Department officers on June 23, 2023. SAPD Sgt. Alfred Flores, Officer Eleazar Alejandro and Officer Nathaniel Villalobos are charged with murder. (KSAT)

All three officers were indicted by a Bexar County grand jury late last week.

All three officers face multi-count indictments. Flores and Alejandro are charged with murder.

Villalobos is now charged with aggravated assault by a public servant.

SAPD officer Andres Puente was arrested in late May on two charges of felony invasive visual recording.

After Puente’s ex-girlfriend found a hidden camera in her home, she called BCSO deputies.

She told deputies she found the device, which was disguised as an electronic plug-in wall outlet extender and contained a micro SD card inside the hidden camera.

An arrest affidavit revealed the victim found the device partially obscured behind a computer desk.

The victim gave BCSO investigators permission to search the device and deputies found 33 hours of footage, including video of Puente setting up the camera, according to the affidavit.

Footage also showed the victim and her daughter, who is a minor, partially dressed, in addition to private audio recordings the victim had with another person.

According to the affidavit, Puente admitted to the victim via text message that he was in her residence without her knowledge.

Puente is free on bond awaiting indictment, court records show.

There is a long list of resources for victims of family violence on the KSAT Domestic Violence webpage.

About the Author

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined KSAT Investigates in September 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat and on the Six O'Clock News. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.

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