A San Juan police officer faces a federal criminal charge after his recent indictment, news media outlets across the Rio Grande Valley report. Officer Richard Leon Castillo is accused of making false statements late last year to DEA agents who were investigating a drug seizure.
Castillo has been suspended without pay by the San Juan Police Department. It is not yet clear if he will face additional charges.
KRGV reports that last summer Castillo was assisting fellow San Juan police officers and Border Patrol agents who searched an abandoned vehicle and found two duffle bags containing illegal drugs inside. One of the other police officers took the drugs to the police station as evidence.
But when Drug Enforcement Agency officers questioned Castillo about the seizure, Castillo reportedly told them that he had not seen the drugs at the scene and did not know who had taken custody of the drugs.
The Monitor reports that DEA investigators reviewed videotape of the seizure and said Castillo’s story contained several false statements.
The DEA says Castillo saw the narcotics at the scene of the seizure and that he knew who took custody and transported the drugs to the station. According to the indictment, the officer who took the drugs to headquarters told the DEA agents a story that contradicted Castillo’s version of events as well.
Obviously, the officer’s career and freedom are both on the line. In similar situations, an attorney skilled in negotiations and at trial can protect your rights and interests.