LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a former sheriff's deputy in West Texas has been sentenced to four years in prison for distributing cocaine.
Inoe R. Valdez Jr. was sentenced Thursday in Lubbock. The 43-year-old Valdez worked as a deputy for the sheriff's office in Yoakum County, which borders New Mexico.
Valdez pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful use of a communications facility.
The investigation began when a traffic stop involving a suspected drug trafficker revealed various cell phone messages to Valdez.
Prosecutors say Valdez admitted he was part of a conspiracy to distribute cocaine from July 2009 until August 2010.
He told state Department of Public Safety investigators that financial debts led him to sell the drug.