Trial for former La Joya police chief starts today

Nearly 20 months after federal agents arrested him on drug trafficking charges, former La Joya police Chief Geovani Hernandez will face a jury Monday.

Agents arrested Geovani V. Hernandez, 44, of McAllen during “Operation Blue Shame,” which targeted corrupt cops. He pleaded not guilty.

Geovani Hernandez Photo via Facebook“I knew very little of him, other than I didn’t trust him,” said former Hidalgo County District Attorney Rene Guerra, adding that something about Hernandez always made him suspicious. “You know, sometimes, people are too slick. And those are the ones you have to worry about.”

While he is well-known in Hidalgo County law enforcement circles, Hernandez isn’t well-liked.

Hernandez worked for the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office, eight Rio Grande Valley police departments, the U.S. Border Patrol and several private security contractors during the past two decades.

He is perhaps best known for running against Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Treviño in the March 2012 Democratic Party primary.

Hernandez reached the pinnacle of his law enforcement career two years later, when La Joya appointed him police chief. He lasted just 10 months.

When federal agents arrested Hernandez on Aug. 12, 2017, he had taken a job with the Progreso Police Department.

The case pits Hernandez and his attorney, David Acosta, against the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas.

Federal prosecutors say Hernandez provided security for cocaine shipments during a sting planned by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Hernandez, however, says an unscrupulous federal agent and a shady informant framed him.

Opening statements are scheduled to start Monday morning.

If convicted on the drug trafficking charges, Hernandez faces 10 years to life in federal prison.

Check back for updates.

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