Former HPD officer Marcos E. Carrion pleaded guilty Thursday to providing security for drug runners, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office and court records.
Carrion, who left the department in February after serving as a patrol officer for five years, was indicted by federal prosecutors in April, accused of using his position as a cop to provide security for cocaine shipments. Carrion, who was an officer assigned to HPD's southwest patrol division, "admitted to providing security for a narcotics transaction which involved 10 kilograms of cocaine," the U.S. Attorney's Office announced in a statement Thursday.
Previous Chron reports indicate Carrion had been providing security for drug runners that had already been targeted by the feds. When he was first dragged into court for a hearing in April, federal prosecutors claimed Carrion had been protecting cocaine shipments in a federal case in which a witness had already been shot. The feds didn't divulge many details on that drug case, saying only that it happened somewhere in Harris County and that the witness survived the shooting.
And while it doesn't appear that any other HPD officers have yet been charged in the scheme, the feds alleged that the conspiracy lasted for longer than a year. On Thursday, the U.S. Attorney's Office also said Carrion "claimed he could arrange for additional uniformed officers to assist whom he would pay and instruct to just show up, not ask questions and do what he said."
A year before Carrion was busted by the feds, two other HPD officers -- Michael Miceli and Emerson Canizales -- were also indicted for using their position as cops to protect drug smugglers. In all three cases the officers were allowed to go free on bond while their cases were pending.
Carrion was paid $2,500 for providing security for one shipment, according to the feds, although he even tried to bilk his under-the-table employers for some more cash. At one point, "Carrion falsely claimed another officer was present and demanded another $2,500," according to the U.S. Attorney's Office release.
Carrion now faces anywhere from 10 years to life in federal prison.