Six police officers are among nine people arrested today over their alleged involvement in an illegal racing and gambling enterprise in Texas.
The arrests, announced by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, are the result of an 11-month multi-agency investigation.
The nine are alleged have been operating an illegal horse-racing track.
After an 11-month-long investigation by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, the Texas Department of Public Safety, and the Texas Rangers, 9-suspects were arrested today.
The 9 defendants, including 6 licensed police officers, have been charged with ‘Racing without a License’ under the Texas Racing Act. (Sec 14.16)
Those arrested were named as:
Secar Guadelupe Rangel – Harris County Deputy PCT 1 Constable’s Office
Joel Garcia – Harris County Deputy PCT 1 Constable’s Office
Richard Rene Rivera – Department of Public Safety state trooper
David Green – Reserve, Fort Bend County Deputy PCT2 Constable’s Office
Edward Scott – Reserve, Fort Bend County Deputy PCT2 Constable’s Office
Carlos Garza – Reserve, Maverick County Deputy PCT4 Constable’s Office
Consuelo Rivera – civilian – also charged with “Impersonating a Peace Officer”
Reginaldo Mandujano – civilian
Diana Marie Salinas – civilian
Authorities alleged an illegal horse racing and gambling business was operating at Rancho El Herradero, at 12402 Sralla Road in Crosby.
They claim the police officers were providing security at at the ranch, where betting was said to be occurring.
The chief of the public integrity division with the district attorney’s office, Terese Buess, said multiple undercover surveillance operations took place during the probe.
“Peace officers take an oath to uphold the law,” Buess said. “To discover them actually working in their official capacity to provide security for organized criminal enterprises is extremely alarming and disappointing.”
The invesigation also involved the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Rangers.
The cases have been assigned to the 338th District Court, with Judge Brock Thomas presiding.
Other agencies that played a role were the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, the Texas Racing Commission,
Homeland Security Investigations, Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Office of the Inspector General, and the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners