CROSBY, Texas -- Investigators raided the Rancho El Herradero Training Center, on 12402 Sralla Road, saying it was a front for illegal horse racing and gambling.
They arrested nine people, including six law enforcement officers, and have charged them all with racing without a license.
Authorities said they spent 11 months investigating the property and say the track hired off duty cops to provide security; those officers are accused of looking the other way when illegal gambling was going on.
The Harris County District Attorney's office said the officers arrested include Harris County Pct. 1 deputy constables Secar Guadelupe Rangel and Joel Garcia, DPS State Trooper Richard Rene Rivera, reserve Fort Bend County Pct. 2 deputy constables David Green and Edward Scott and reserve Maverick County Sheriff's Office deputy Carlos Garza.
They also arrested three civilians -- Reginaldo Mandujano, Diana Marie Salinas and Consuelo Rivera.
Rivera is also accused of impersonating a police officer.
Peace officers take an oath to uphold the law, said Terese Buess of the district attorney's public integrity division. To discover them actually working in their official capacity to provide security for organized criminal enterprises is extremely alarming and disappointing.
Harris County Pct. 1 Constable Alan Rosen said he fired the two deputies from his agency the minute they were arrested.
I don't tolerate crime on the street and I don't tolerate it in my office, said Rosen.
A group of men who identified themselves as the owners of the Rancho El Herradero Training Center deny any illegal activity was going on at the facility.
We have no gambling allowed, said one of the men, who refused to give his name. I don't know why they think there is gambling here.
Neighbors near the property say they've noticed large crowds coming here on weekends that bring noise and traffic.
The nine suspects, including the six law enforcement officers, are expected to appear in the 338th state District Court Monday morning.