Authorities arrested a police chief from a small town in East Texas on Tuesday, along with two residents, in connection to a methamphetamine ring.
Joseph "Jody" Navarro, 40, a police chief of Normangee, was taken into federal custody after he was arrested for allegedly using a law enforcement computer system to aid in meth trafficking, the Bryan Eagle reported on Thursday.
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Navarro was charged with intentionally exceeding authorized access to a protected computer to run a background check on a name supplied to him by a suspected meth dealer, Normangee resident Brenda Antanette Evans, 45. If convicted, Navarro faces up to five years in federal prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.
Evans and Joshua Troy Thomas, 25, both of Normangee, were charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. The complaint alleged that Evans purchased close to an ounce of meth from Thomas for $1,200.
Thomas was arrested during an early morning raid at his home, and Navarro was cuffed by law enforcement as he pulled up to the scene while on duty, KBTX-TV reported.
The Eagle reported Evans surrendered to authorities at the McLennan County Jail in Waco on Wednesday.
"I've worked (with) and known Jody for about five or six years now," Normangee Police Sgt. Steve Milligan told KBTX-TV. "Knowing Jody personally, it was quite a surprise to me."
Normangee Mayor Ronnie Meadors told KBTX-TV that Navarro's arrest left the town in shock.
"This is something that we never expected out of him," Meadors said. "Jody was a good police officer. Jody knows the laws and he was good at interpreting the laws, but in the same token, just with him working and knowing the law does not put him above the law."
Milligan told KBTX-TV he is now the only officer left on the police force.
"Sure, it’s a lot to take on," Milligan said. "But it's also being able to start off with a clean slate with everything. You know? Now there shouldn’t be absolutely any questions about our integrity."
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