MCALLEN–A former McAllen police officer who helped smuggle drugs from the border to stash houses and was involved with an escape from a federal detention facility was sentenced 27 years in federal prison.
Francisco Meza-Rojas, 45, of McAllen, was indicted for his role in a drug trafficking conspiracy back in April of 2006. Authorities said he had been trafficking drugs for eight years before he was caught.
The indictment said Meza-Rojas, a then-McAllen police officer, worked as a leader from 1996 to 2004 moving cocaine and marijuana from the border to homes in Penitas and McAllen.
Prosecutors said he hired his brothers and others to work as lookouts along the smuggling routes and to call them if law enforcement officers showed up in the area.
While at the East Hidalgo Federal Detention Center in La Villa. Meza-Rojas and five others broke out of the jail in September 2006 and he was on the lam for nearly four years.
Meza-Rojas was caught last July in Mexico and extradited back to the United States. In October, he plead guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to deliver marijuana and cocaine.
Meza is the last to be sentenced of this crew involved with this drug conspiracy. Four of this brothers were sent to prison for two to 19 years, while eight others were sentenced to four years to 21 years in federal prison. His brother, Osvaldo Meza, 38, and two others are fugitives and haven’t been caught.
–Manuel De La Rosa, South Texas Tribune, firstname.lastname@example.org
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