Former Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Helping Deal Drugs

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On Monday, August 9, Monica Lisette Garcia, age 23 and formerly an officer of the El Paso Police Department, pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy. If you’re planning on a career as frosty the snowman, selling cocaine just north of the border, it really helps to have a step-daughter on the police force.

Officer used her access

Former officer Monica Garcia wasn’t smart enough to cover her tracks in the computer. Undercover detectives don’t like finding out that someone on their own team was running the plates of their unmarked cars.

She just admitted she’s guilty of infiltrating the police to help the family cocaine distribution business. She’s looking at up to 20 years in a cell for her part in the plot. Her step-father, 44-year-old Fred Saenz, will be in a nearby cell for around 40 years.

Last year, Officer Garcia was fired when they arrested her for using “her law enforcement access with EPPD to conduct counter-surveillance measures.” Saenz would call in a plate number and she would run it to see if it was a narc or not. That was a big help to someone who peddles cocaine in serious quantities.

Court records note that when arrested, “Garcia had been on the police force for two years and had worked out of the Northeast Regional Command.” With Fred’s prices, he probably had a corner on the whole Texas market.

Both the El Paso Police Department and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration were watching Saenz closely since August of 2020.

That’s when an undercover cop got a really screaming deal. The narc scored “7 grams of cocaine” and paid $150. Saenz told the rat that “the cocaine was high quality and was selling it” to the officer “at a discounted price.”

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Another stash house

To show how pure and un-stepped on the product was, “Saenz took the officer into a room, pulled out a small folding table and cut the cocaine.” It didn’t take them long to figure out that Saenz had another stash house for his overflow inventory.

He made his deals at his home in the 3200 block of Scarlet Point Drive. That’s where the narc saw “stacks of money, baggies used for street-level narcotic sales and a large clear plastic bag of about 1 kilogram of cocaine.”

He also “was using another home in the 4700 block of Frankfort Avenue in Central El Paso as a secondary stash house.” His daughter the cop was helping cover that up too. Law enforcement “continued to follow Saenz as he appeared to be making other drug deals.”

Then Officer Garcia didn’t know about the DEA. Agents “conducted another undercover drug purchase Oct. 29 with Saenz at his house on Scarlet Point Drive.” Their plates didn’t show up on her computer as undercover cars. They also had air surveillance going by then.

“Before the drug deal, Saenz left the house and went to the Frankfort Avenue house. He was seen entering the house for a short time and then left in his vehicle.” The DEA agents were laughing at his useless antics as they followed him. He was “driving in an unconventional fashion” by making several U-turns with no specific direction of travel and briefly pulling into an alley.”

The officer explained in court that such maneuvers are “a common counter-surveillance tactic used by drug traffickers to attempt to detect law enforcement presence.” When they moved in on both houses, they hauled in “an unknown amount of money wrapped in rubber bands kept in clear plastic bags” and “1.2 kilograms of cocaine packaged in five clear plastic bags with various numbered markings.”