FBI investigating corruption allegations at Bexar Sheriff’s narcotics unit

Over the holidays, the SA Express News reported on a possible brewing corruption scandal at the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office narcotics division. According to reporter Guillermo Contreras (“Bexar narcotics deputies probed,” Dec. 27):

The FBI is investigating the Bexar County sheriff’s narcotics unit over allegations that some of its deputies might have been unlawfully taking evidence or stealing money and property from people they detain or arrest, the San Antonio Express-News has confirmed.

The two-year-old probe includes allegations of civil rights violations, but has expanded as agents learned about deputies who are living beyond what their county pay could afford — group trips to Las Vegas and the purchase of a large property in South Texas, for example.

“There have been many complaints about that narcotics division,” said one law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation, one of several who confirmed its existence. “The complaints include stuff about rogue cops and deputies running roughshod, arresting people without cause and stealing money.”

“It’s not the whole (narcotics) division, but four or five names keep coming up,” another source in the criminal justice system said. “But it doesn’t end there. They’re also looking up the chain to see what they knew.”

Independent of those sources, the Express-News confirmed FBI agents have approached several defense attorneys to interview their clients about the allegations.

Among the accusations are claims that deputies, while moonlighting in private security jobs, took advantage of their roles as law officers and shook down people at apartment complexes where deputies were hired to provide security. Some complained to federal officials about the deputies using excessive force and threats.

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