HOUSTON — A former border patrol agent from Edinburg, Texas is going to prison on drug charges.
On Wednesday, a federal judge in Houston sentenced Daniel Polanco, 39, to 166 months behind bars.
Polanco is one of six law enforcement officers charged with stealing cocaine and marijuana from dealers in the Rio Grande Valley and selling the drugs in Houston.
The investigation that targeted corrupt cops began in 2011 as part of Operation Blue Shame.
A former Harris County constable and a Houston police officer were also indicted, according to court records.
U.S. Attorney Ryan Patrick said Polanco used his position as a border patrol agent to help hide the crimes.
“Every day, dedicated law enforcement officers across the nation risk their lives to make our communities safe. The criminal actions of Daniel Polanco, for which he was justly sentenced, demean that dedication and sacrifice,” stated Special Agent in Charge Steven S. Whipple of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
In order to cover up the thefts from dealers, the organization created fake bundles of drugs and used law enforcement officers to seize them.
In one case, the fake drugs were placed in an abandoned vehicle. Prosecutors say Polanco personally called authorities to report the abandoned vehicle and falsely reported the vehicle as looking suspicious.
A federal jury in Houston found Polanco guilty in 2019.
At a court hearing to request a new trial, Polanco threatened Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Isidro Martinez, who testified at the trial.
As he left the courtroom, Polanco pointed at Martinez and said: “This is gonna come back to you m-----f-----. You’ll see,” according to the KRGV.
Martinez reported the comment, which resulted in a new indictment against Polanco for threatening a federal official.
A total of 20 people were arrested after the Operation Blue Shame investigation that involved agents from ICE, Homeland Security and the DEA.
KRGV and The Monitor contributed to this report.