FBI informant from Mission sentenced for bank fraud

Woman will serve 150 months for separate drug smuggling case 

U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez sentenced a Mission woman to a 21-month federal prison term for her role in a case of bank fraud, records show.

Alvarez sentenced Carmen Saldana Meyer to a nearly two-year prison sentence on Monday related to several charges, including bank fraud, and frauds and swindles, for her role in a bank fraud scheme that took place in the summer of 2015.

Meyer was charged — along with Annette Garza and Rebekha Bonachea, aka Wanda Ivette Rodriguez Robles — of the bank fraud charges, alleging the trio committed bank fraud by depositing fraudulent checks into their personal accounts by using the post office.

“Conspirators would obtain checks issued by business entities. The conspirators would then fraudulently alter the named payee contained within the check to reflect a new payee,” the indictment against the trio states. “Conspirators would then mail the fraudulently obtained checks through the United States Postal Service to other co-conspirators to attempt to conceal the identity and source of the fraudulently issued check.”

Meyer was also convicted in a separate federal indictment involving drug smuggling charges.

Last October, a district judge sentenced Meyer in connection with Operation Blue Shame, which was an operation that ended up arresting corrupt law enforcement officers, including two from the Rio Grande Valley. That same month, Meyer pleaded guilty to the bank fraud charge in exchange for a reduced sentence and to avoid a jury trial.

Former Edinburg police officer Hector Beltran, 44, and former U.S. Border Patrol agent Daniel Polanco, 38, were also arrested and subsequently convicted of being part of the scheme to use their authority as law enforcement to facilitate the movement of drugs along with drug cartel associates.

Bonachea, who also pleaded guilty, was sentenced to a 20-month prison term in November while Garza pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a time-served term in January of this year, records show.

Now, along with her drug smuggling conviction, Meyer will serve a total of 150 months in federal prison.

In addition to her prison term, Meyer will be required to pay more than $125,000 to two banking institutions as part of her plea agreement with the government, court records show.

After serving the more than 150-month prison term, Meyer will be required to serve three years of supervised release, records show.