- Associated Press - Thursday, July 14, 2016

MCALLEN, Texas (AP) - A former South Texas police officer has been convicted on federal drug charges for stealing cocaine and then staging a fake bust to cover up the theft.

A jury on Thursday found 46-year-old Hector Mendez guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

Mendez, who had worked for the Mission Police Department and had been a former Drug Enforcement Administration task force officer, faces up to life in prison on each drug charge when sentenced Sept. 27.

Prosecutors say Mendez took nearly 15 kilograms of cocaine from a home in Mission in July 2012 and with the help of another individual diluted and repackaged the drugs.

Authorities say the diluted cocaine was seized during a staged drug bust.

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