- Associated Press - Monday, August 14, 2017

MCALLEN, Texas (AP) - Authorities say a South Texas police officer has been arrested and charged with helping a drug trafficking organization.

A federal criminal complaint says Sgt. Giovani Hernandez of the Progresso Police Department met with a confidential informant from last March through last month to discuss an illegal business venture.

Hernandez told the informant he was a friend of former Gulf Cartel leader Juan Manuel “El Toro” Loza Salinas and needed money to campaign for Hidalgo County constable.

The document says the meetings culminated in Hernandez agreeing to provide police protection for a vehicle he believed carried drugs. In return, he would be paid $5,000.

Hernandez was arrested Saturday and charged with possession with intent to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine. He’ll remain behind bars until a Friday hearing.

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