A Texas National Guardsman is reported to have stolen massive amounts of methamphetamines from the US Customs and Border Protection agency, all while he was deployed to help secure the southern border
21-year-old Private Edwin Baez is accused of stealing 1.5 kilograms of meth from CBP with intent to distribute for sale. Prior to the heist, he reportedly discussed stealing seized drugs from CBP and reselling them on the black market.
Making his initial court appearance in Monday, Baez faces a minimum of ten years if he is convicted of theft of government property, conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
According to LMT Online, the National Guardsman was working with the CBP at the World Trade Bridge on the US-Mexican border, where he assisted officers with specialty and support skills, mainly in logistics and surveillance.
On August 1, Baez assisted CBP with a seizure involving meth concealed inside of the frames of paintings.
“While assisting (Office of Field Operations) with the seizure, Baez stated that while no one was looking, he moved one of the methamphetamine-laden frames aside and concealed it in a dumpster among other discarded frames at the World Trade Bridge that did not contain narcotics,” read the affidavit.
Returning to the dumpster on nineteen days later, Baez took one of the four bundles of meth and took it back to the hotel room, where he tried some of it.
The same day, he was admitted to a Laredo hospital due to a drug-induced medical emergency. Federal agents would later discover meth in hotel room, as well as 1.3 kilograms still in the dumpster, a street value of around $12,000.
Needless to say, agents read him his rights at the hospital.
The US Military has followed up on the incident, acknowledging that Baez is one of their own.
“We can confirm that Private Edwin Baez is a member of the Texas Army National Guard, currently assigned along the southwest border in support of the Department of Homeland Security’s Operation Guardian Support mission,” the statement read. “Beyond the above information our organization cannot comment further on this ongoing investigation. However, the Texas Military Department takes all allegations of misconduct seriously, is fully cooperating with all law enforcement agencies on this matter and must refer you to them for additional information.”
The investigation is ongoing.
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