Former Police Officer Nabbed in Drug Sting
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - A former Central Texas police officer caught in a drug sting has been sentenced to almost six years in prison for agreeing to protect cocaine shipments.
David Anthony Morales, who tried to commit suicide last month, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Edward C. Prado on Wednesday to five years, 10 months in prison.
"I'm very sorry for what occurred," the 40-year-old said in a weak voice. "I did lose a lot."
Morales, 40, was one of 10 law-enforcement officers duped by undercover agents who posed as drug dealers intent on hiring badge-wearing bodyguards for drug transactions. Indicted last year, Morales quickly pleaded guilty.
Morales stood out as perhaps the most brazen of the rogue officers. Only he showed up to deliver drugs while in uniform and on duty. Agents once filmed him putting into his squad car a briefcase of what he believed was 22 pounds of cocaine.
Agents also recorded him talking about how he would be willing to stand guard outside a drug stash house -- as long as he had an appropriate automatic rifle.
Morales' lawyer, Van Hilley, said his client has lost everything - his job, his reputation and his wife, also a police officer.
"Unlike Job, who had Satan to blame for his troubles, David Morales has nobody to blame except the guy he sees in the mirror every morning," Hilley told the San Antonio Express-News for its Thursday editions.
In a suicide note that Morales scrawled after swallowing all his prescription medication on Aug. 12, he said: "When you send me to jail, I am asking for life because I have nothing here in society."
In the next paragraph, Morales turned his bitterness on the undercover agents.
"I am not sorry for what occurred, because what the FBI (did) was wrong in violating my constitutional rights," he wrote.
Morales will remain in a psychiatric facility for evaluation until he can be assigned to a federal penitentiary, the judge said.
Copyright Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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