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Texas border cop accused of working with drug cartel

September 21, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Texas border cop accused of working with drug cartel

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A Texas border cop in Rio Grande City is accused of helping dispose of items including weapons and vests used for murders and kidnappings on behalf of a Mexican drug cartel.

Federal agents with Homeland Security Investigations arrested Ramon “Ramey” De La Cruz Jr. on Friday. De La Cruz was an officer with the Rio Grande City Police Department and a former deputy with Starr County Sheriff’s Office; he is also the son of local Justice of the Peace.

After spending the weekend in custody, De La Cruz stood before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dorina Ramos on September 19th, who ordered him to remain in custody without bond pending a detention hearing that is scheduled for later this week.

De La Cruz was charged with one count of possession of more than 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds) of marijuana with the intent to distribute, Valley Central reported.

Although De La Cruz was specifically charged, case documents indicate that he is part of a broader indictment against a criminal group from Rio Grande City.

The Texas border cop  was allegedly a member of a drug smuggling and “rip crew,” which was directed by Ramiro Beltran and his family–referred to as the Beltran drug trafficking organization.

Court documents have not suggested a relationship between the Beltran group from Rio Grande City and the much larger Beltran-Leyva Drug Cartel which is based in Mexico.

Government informants reported that, in one example, a Gulf Cartel leader, also known as “El Puma” required that vests and rifles that were used in a kidnapping and murder be stored in a box and buried in a property owned by the Beltran family.

The Beltran group appointed De La Cruz to get rid of the firearms, which he did by taking them to a local gun store to pawn them.

The local Beltran Group has been linked to smuggling-for-hire crimes with Mexico’s Gulf Cartel. However, the organization would allegedly utilize De La Cruz to rob drugs from cartel members, while making it seem like the drugs had been confiscated.

In order to trick Gulf Cartel leaders, the Beltran group would use De La Cruz and other law enforcement officials to provide fake police reports indicating that a drug load had been intercepted.

De La Cruz is also facing accusations that he provided his criminal bosses in the Beltran group with police radios so that cartel smugglers could eavesdrop on law enforcement operations.

The former deputy and current Texas border cop also allegedly performed surveillance for the group’s smuggling efforts where they would pick up narcotics at the banks of the Rio Grande and transport them to a local stash house.

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