Friday, December 26, 2014

Agents: Valley man helped police shooter escape, 7 others arrested


A Rio Grande Valley man has been indicted after allegations of conspiracy involving a felon who shot an Iowa police officer in the head.
Esteban Hernandez, 36, was charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States by obstructing a federal investigation.
The federal investigation involves felon Jamal Dean, who shot a police officer with a shotgun in Sioux City, Iowa before fleeing to Texas last December.
Authorities say Dean fired several rounds at the police officer during a traffic stop after a robbery. He then fled the scene.
Hernandez, along with seven others, plotted to drive him towards the Texas-Mexico border, documents filed in a South Texas federal court reveal.
Agents alleged Hernandez, a Mercedes resident, drove Dean from Iowa to Texas and provided him with an iPod to communicate with others during their “conspiracy”.
Dean was arrested by Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers in Rivera Texas, just 100 miles from their Matamoros destination.
In November, the seven others were arrested, but Hernandez remained on the run, according to the Sioux City Journal. 
The Mercedes man drove Dean to South Texas after the shooting. However, he was not arrested during the traffic stop.
Hernandez was arrested on Dec. 18, 2014 after being indicted for obstructing Dean's capture, according to court records.
He and Dean discussed what the next step should be, paid for Dean’s hotel stay, provided him with food and deleted text messages, special agents say.
Hernandez faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
He appeared at the federal courthouse in McAllen for a detention hearing at 9:00 this morning.
The 36-year-old remains in custody of the U.S. Marshals at this time.


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