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‘Operation Blue Shame’ Targets TX Corrupt Cops

South Texas has been spotlighted as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area by the Department of Justice National Drug Intelligence Center. It is well known that the Lone Star State is the gateway through which marijuana, heroin, cocaine, and other drugs sourced in South America come into the United States.

However, the belief has always been that drug cartels are solely responsible for the crime. While it is certainly true that drug trafficking through Texas is driven by these bloody cartels, they are not operating alone. The discouraging truth is that, in certain cases, some of the people who we trust and pay to protect our borders and do their due diligence to intervene when traffickers try to bring illegal substances into the country are working against us, taking payoffs.

One cop in Progreso, Texas, has been targeted in “Operation Blue Shame,” an undercover sting investigation designed to root out corrupt officials who are working with drug cartels. In this case, the police sergeant is being charged with aiding and abetting drug cartels as well as possession of five or more kilograms of cocaine with the intent to distribute.

Confidential informants (CI) tipped off federal investigators that the sergeant was working with drug cartels along the Texas/Mexico border. According to one of the CIs, he would assist in getting shipments of drugs across the border, run license plate checks, and run background checks for a fee. He told another CI, allegedly, that he needed the money to run for the office of Hidalgo County Constable, according to the Washington Post.

Broken Trust

It is difficult to process the betrayal when someone in an authority position, especially someone who is paid to defend and protect, breaks the law themselves and exposes their community to the danger and violence that come with drug trafficking. This is just one of the many issues that can make the relationship between those who wear a badge and those they are sworn to protect tense and strained.

The fact is, however, that though stories like these tend to make the headlines because they are splashy and get attention, they are far from the norm. Most police officers work the job with integrity, working too many hours with far too little pay and putting their lives at risk in the service of protecting their communities. It is hard when one person does something that violates the trust of an entire community, but it is important to remember that it is just the actions of one person and that person does not speak for an entire department or for law enforcement in general.

Working Together

If someone in your family is struggling with addiction, it can be devastating to hear that an officer is facilitating the flow of the substance that is hurting your loved one. Though we cannot change the course of others, we can take this information and use it as an inspiration to move forward in our own lives. That is, if your loved one is living with an addiction, the only clear path through the daily risk of death to accident, overdose, or chronic illness is treatment. No law enforcement agency, individual government official, or law is going to help your loved one to survive addiction. You can help your loved one move closer to connecting with treatment services that will facilitate their growth into recovery.

If you are considering staging an intervention for your loved one, remember:

  • You do not have to go it alone. Professional interventionists can assist you.
  • Keep the number of attendees to a minimum.
  • Lay out the things that will change in terms of your support of their ongoing drug and alcohol use if your loved one does not choose treatment.
  • Follow through on these assertions if needed.
  • Make it clear that treatment must begin immediately.
  • An intervention may be just the first step in the process. A “no” to drug rehab may not remain a “no” after changes in lifestyle have been made.
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