Former deputy arrested after conducting illegal search during traffic stop, BCSO says

Video footage showed Joel Chavez, 51, had contradicted what he officially reported during a traffic stop in 2019

The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office arrested a former deputy on Monday after an investigation showed he conducted an illegal search of a vehicle in 2019, officials said.
The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office arrested a former deputy on Monday after an investigation showed he conducted an illegal search of a vehicle in 2019, officials said.

SAN ANTONIO – The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office arrested a former deputy on Monday after an investigation showed he conducted an illegal search of a vehicle in 2019, officials said.

BCSO said 51-year-old Joel Chavez had conducted a traffic stop in September 2019, which led to a man being arrested for two counts of a controlled substance.

Chavez had reported an official statement saying he saw the man reach under the passenger seat and saw the controlled substance in plain view of the passenger floor, deputies said.

The man provided video from a camera he had inside his car to the sheriff’s office, which contradicted what Chavez had reported, the sheriff’s office said.

The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office Internal Affairs Division and the Public Integrity Unit investigated and said they were able to prove Chavez conducted an illegal search and lied on an official report.

51 year-old Joel Chavez (Bexar County Sheriff's Office)

Sheriff Javier Salazar issued an order of dismissal and a case was filed against Chavez.

Chavez was arrested for official oppression, which is a Class A misdemeanor.

Chavez had been employed with the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office since 2016.

Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar issued the following statement:

“In making an arrest, this now former deputy’s conduct clearly crossed the line into blatant misconduct. In the interest of our integrity and maintenance of standards, he is being held accountable to the fullest extent.”

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About the Author:

Emily Martin is a digital producer trainee at KSAT. She earned a journalism degree from Texas State University, where she was news director at KTSW, the campus radio station. She has also interned at KXAN and KUT in Austin.