Thursday, February 18, 2010

Former Officer Pedro Martinez III Pleads Guilty to Escorting 40 Kilos of Cocaine

A former Laredo Police officer pleads guilty in a federal drug case after escorting what he believed to be 40 kilos of cocaine.

Wednesday morning, Pedro Martinez III, who worked as an officer for six years with the Laredo Police Department, and co-conspirator Guillermo Villareal each plead guilty to conspiracy to poses with intent to distribute cocaine, before U.S. Senior District Court Judge George P. Kazen.

Martinez admitted to meeting with an undercover FBI agent posing as a drug trafficker, back in October and November of 2008.

In their meetings, then-officer Martinez twice agreed to escort vehicles carrying cocaine from Zapata Highway to North Laredo, for two thousand dollars.

On one of the occasions, Martinez escorted the contraband while wearing his Laredo PD uniform and driving a marked patrol unit.

Additionally, Martinez introduced Guillermo Villareal to an unnamed party to facilitate the storage of cocaine at a private residence, which he did.

Villareal went on to sell a quarter kilogram of cocaine to undercover officers in December of 2008 and then again in January of 2009.

Martinez has been ordered released on a one-hundred-thousand-dollar bond.
Guillermo Villareal is still pending bond.

The two men each face a minimum ten year prison sentence.

In response to the conviction, Laredo Police Chief, Carlos Maldonado released a statement saying, "The Laredo Police Department remains committed and steadfast in our resolve to serve and protect the citizens of Laredo and the United States.

In this effort the Laredo Police Department will continue to collaborate and partner with federal, state, and local law enforcement entities to bring those who are inclined to break the law to justice".

Martinez had been on administrative leave by the Laredo Police Department since October of last year. He resigned from the force on Tuesday.