The Dallas Morning News
A Dallas defense attorney who used to be a decorated undercover
narcotics officer has been indicted in connection with a major drug
smuggling operation between Mexico and Chicago.
Federal officials said Frank Perez, 48, was among the 25 people in
four states charged with violations of federal drug laws. Mr. Perez
was scheduled to appear in federal court in Dallas Friday afternoon
and could not be reached for comment.
A 146-page FBI affidavit filed with the court said Mr. Perez helped
the drug ring by tipping off Carlos Villasenor, its alleged leader,
to what law enforcement officials were doing in their investigation.
Mr. Perez was indicted on charges of conspiring with Mr. Villasenor
to possess and distribute marijuana and cocaine.
Mr. Perez left his 11-year career with the Dallas Police Department
in 1993 to become a defense attorney.
He is known for his work in 1996 defending Johnnie Hernandez, the
former Dallas police officer who pleaded guilty to solicitation of
capital murder. Officials said Mr. Hernandez paid an undercover
federal officer posing as a hit man to try to arrange the death of
Dallas Cowboys All-Pro receiver Michael Irvin.
Mr. Perez received the Dallas Police Department's prestigious Officer
of the Year award twice, in 1988 and 1989, during the height of the
city's drug wars. He graduated from Southern Methodist University Law
School in 1993.