Accepting less than $100 to run license plate checks for a civilian might not sound like a big deal, but it’s enough to put a former South Texas law enforcement officer in danger of a 20-year prison sentence.
That’s because the person for whom former La Feria deputy constable Armando Gonzalez did the checks was a known drug trafficker, KGBT has reported. Gonzalez has pleaded guilty to extortion and is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 18
U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick said Gonzalez faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Gonzalez, 32, admitted to receiving a $50 gift card to Bass Pro Shops in exchange for conducting a license plate check on a vehicle for someone he knew that has been involved in narcotics trafficking, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office on Thursday.
Gonzalez also admitted to conducting another license plate check on a second vehicle at the request of the same person on June 8, 2016, and receiving $40 cash in return.