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Former Texas deputy admits to conspiring with members of drug trafficking organization

Posted at 6:13 PM, Apr 04, 2022

A former Texas deputy has admitted to conspiring with members of a drug trafficking organization.

Baldemar Cardenas, 36, a former deputy with the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine.

"Members of the group would receive kilogram quantities of highly-pure cocaine," said a release from U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery. "They would then utilize small portions of the drugs to create sham cocaine with very low purity."

According to the U.S. Attorney's release, Cardenas would ensure authorities seized fake bundles, allowing co-conspirators to avoid responsibility and distribute the stolen cocaine for profit.

"Cardenas falsely claimed a confidential source provided the information [in exchange for $10,000]," said the U.S. Attorney's release. "Based on the information he gave, law enforcement seized the multi-kilogram sham bundles of cocaine."

U.S. District Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa accepted the plea and set sentencing for June 14, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

"At that time, he faces a minimum of five and up to 40 years in prison," said the release.