PROGRESO, Texas — A former sergeant with the Progreso Police Department was convicted last week on two counts of aiding and abetting the attempt to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine.
Following a four-day trial and three hours of jury deliberation, the jury convicted 45-year-old Giovanni Hernandez of Weslaco, Texas, on both counts.
While a sergeant with the Progreso Police Department, from March 2017 through August 2017 a confidential source met with Hernandez seeking assistance for a drug trafficking organization (DTO), according to federal prosecutors. Those meetings culminated in Hernandez scouting for the DTO on the whereabouts of law enforcement to allow a vehicle he believed to contain a controlled substance to pass through Progreso undetected.
"At trial, the jury heard recordings between the informant and Hernandez discussing scouting for the drug load," stated prosecutors. "The government presented evidence that once the drug load made it successfully through Progreso on July 15, 2017, Hernandez gave the informant his Progreso police badge."
Hernandez, who had been released on bond, was remanded to custody until his sentencing hearing on May 22, 2019. He faces a minimum 10 years in federal prison and a possible $10 million maximum fine.