County jailer arrested, records indicate

A Cameron County jailer was arrested for allegedly smuggling drugs into the Carrizales-Rucker Detention Center in Olmito, according to documents detailing the arrest.

Magistrate’s warnings signed by Magistrate Judge Fabian Limas on July 30 charged Hormero Lopez, II with multiple counts of prohibited substances and items in correctional facility, a third degree felony, “for bringing marijuana into Carrizales Rucker Detention Center,” the documents stated.

Lopez turned himself in and was held on $20,000 bond, according to an affidavit. An inmate identified as Jose Luis Garcia was charged with the same offense on one count. His bond was set at $7,500.

According to the document, on July 28, Sgt. Edgar Rivera was informed by Cameron County Detention Captain Jorge Hernandez that an inmate identified as Jose Luis Garcia was found in possession of marijuana while housed inside the detention facility.

Rivera wrote that he was further informed by a lieutenant who started listening to inmate phone calls that a jailer’s phone number was being relayed to someone an inmate was talking to. The complaint stated that the inmate was informing the person on the phone to call that number and to have the jailer bring contraband into the facility. The phone number was identified as belonging to Lopez, according to the complaint.

The affidavit alleged that Rivera brought Lopez to the Cameron Clinty Sheriff’s Office when he reported to work, read him his Miranda warnings, and informed him he had been identified.

“Initially Lopez denied the allegation against him. Lopez then requested to start over,” the affidavit read.

“Lopez confessed that he did bring in contraband to a ‘big white dude’ who is housed in Bravo-1,” Rivera stated.

According to the officer’s testimony, Lopez obtained the contact information of inmate Garcia’s father in order to pick up and smuggle the drugs into the facility.

“Lopez stated this last time he brought in the drugs was Saturday, July 25, 2020. He stated he collected the drugs from inmate Garcia’s father, at a Jack in the Box on Sam Houston and Frontage in San Benito, Texas,” Rivera wrote.

Lopez told the officer the drugs were in a plastic bag from HEB and had two smaller packets inside, including marijuana, matches, and a blue baggie containing rolling paper, which he smuggled inside in his lunch box, according to the affidavit.

The document containing Lopez’s confession stated that he delivered contraband on May 24, June 6, June 12, and July 7 and that he did so “because he is having a hard time making ends meet.”

In a statement, the Cameron County Sheriff’s Office wrote, “The CCSO remains committed in policing our own and arresting our own when merited. This arrest DOES NOT represent our numerous hard working men and women that are bravely serving as Detention Officers. What we are dealing with is one bad apple that decided to betray his badge for a quick buck. We will continue cracking down on any illegal criminal activities reported to us.”

esheridan@browsvilleherald.com