Home News Trial finally set for former La Joya police chief

Trial finally set for former La Joya police chief

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A former Texas police chief is heading to trial next month, with a local US District judge scheduling a jury selection in February.

Geovani Hernandez a well-known Hidalgo County man who spent ten months as the chief of the La Joya Police Department, and was arrested in 2017 while working for the Progreso Police.

Bouncing between eight police departments in twenty years, Hernandez was infamous among other in law enforcement, and was best known for the 2002 incident in which he had been kidnapped, shot in the buttocks and abandoned by his kidnappers.

While the butt of many jokes among fellow officers, Hernandez was also at the center of many inter-departmental complaints, particularly surrounding his relationship with drug cartels. Acting on a tip in 2016, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement sent one of their Homeland Security Investigations informants to meet with the wayward lawman.

According to the Progress Times, Hernandez bragged about his affiliation with Juan Manuel “El Toro” Loza-Salinas, the Gulf Cartel plaza boss, and asked the informant for some money to run for constable of a local jurisdiction. Already a failed Democratic candidate for one local Sheriff’s Office, Hernandez still had his sights set on being the top dog of a law enforcement agency.

Hernandez played narcorridos (narcotic-related folk songs) during the meeting, and presented his PPD badge, effectively sealing his fate when he accepted money to ensure ten kilograms of cocaine would make it through the city.

Prosecutors secured a two-count indictment against Hernandez on drug trafficking charges, which could land him a decade to life in prison.

Valley Central reported that Hernandez’s longest law enforcement stint was with the Pharr Police Department, which kept him for four-and-a-half years.

Surprisingly, Hernandez allegedly holds several degrees, including a Masters in Psychology. In addition, he also partook in the United Nations Mission in Kosovo during the early 2000s.

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