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Mission police officers investigated

MISSION – Following media reports that two Mission police officers were arrested Wednesday in a federal investigation into allegations of corruption, Mission Police Chief Martin Garza said he would not give names of the officers because they have not officially been charged. He did confirm that at least one officer had been taken into federal custody, but no charges had been filed.

Thursday morning, the Mission police chief said the other officer has an active warrant for federal criminal charges and, as of presstime, was expected to turn himself in Thursday. Garza said the two officers will be served with indefinite suspension, which under civil service law is another word for termination.

Garza said he has opened his doors to federal investigators who are investigating the alleged criminal misconduct of two individuals assigned to task force units working closely with Mission PD. The task force units, while not under the direct supervision of Mission Police Department supervisors, have an office within the department building.

The two officers have been suspended with pay pending the results of the investigation.

Garza said agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigations notified him Wednesday afternoon about the ongoing investigation. After meeting with the investigators, he opened his doors to let them proceed with the investigation, said Garza.

The officers are not officers that respond to calls for service, said Garza. They are not uniformed Mission police officers. They are assigned to task forces, whether county or federal, and are under the direction of those supervisors.

Garza said one of the individuals worked with an Immigration and Customs Enforcement task force. The other officer was working with a county narcotics task force.

According to the FBI, the investigation of the two individuals has been an ongoing investigation, said Garza. The investigation is amid allegations of possible criminal activities involving the officers.

It’s a multi-agency investigation, said Garza. Because one task force is under county and the other under ICE, both FBI and ICE are participating in the investigation. Mission police will be assisting them with anything they need or request, said Garza.

“This is evidence of police policing themselves,” said Garza of the investigation. “Of police making sure that law enforcement officers comply with code of conduct, comply with state and federal laws themselves.”

He added that it shows support and evidence of police officers and the government policing local, state and federal law enforcement.

“This shouldn’t reflect or (overshadow) the hard work of many excellent Mission police officers that have dedicated their lives or years to the residents of Mission and to the City of Mission,” Garza said.

“We have a very well dedicated force with officers who care for the community. We hold our officers to the highest standards of professionalism and integrity. Any type of police misconduct will not be tolerated in this organization.”

Garza said he would be sharing information with the media as he is informed of the investigation.

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CoverageAreaThe Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.

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