Former Texas deputy to go on trial on drug charge


McALLEN, Texas (AP) - A former South Texas law enforcement officer charged with conspiring to steal and distribute drugs faces trial in federal court in McAllen.

Ex-Hidalgo County sheriff's Deputy Jorge Garza was among nine now-former officers implicated in a scheme in which they used their positions to steal drugs and then resell the contraband. Garza is the only person who has not made a deal with prosecutors to avoid trial.

Opening statements are scheduled to begin Monday after the jury is seated.

Most of the officers belonged to the disbanded Panama Unit. The joint task force involved the sheriff's office and Mission police targeting street-level drug sales. Garza was also allegedly paid to guard stash houses where the stolen drugs were stored.

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