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Ex-Houston police officer sent to prison after drug stop

By: U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Texas
| Published 03/24/2021

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HOUSTON, TX -- A former officer with the Houston Police Department (HPD) has been ordered to prison after admitting her guilt in a Houston-area cocaine conspiracy, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

Julissa Diaz, 41, Houston, pleaded guilty Jan. 16, 2020, to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine. At that time, she admitted she stopped a vehicle containing cocaine and arrested the occupant to allow others to steal the drugs.

Today, U.S. District Judge Gray Miller ordered her to serve an 87-month sentence to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release.

Diaz is no longer employed with HPD.

“Julissa Diaz used her position as a sworn police officer to commit these crimes. When she participated in the drug trafficking conspiracy, she violated a sacred oath, as well as the trust our city placed in her,” stated Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Daniel C. Comeaux. “Each day, the overwhelming majority of law enforcement officers place their lives on the line to protect our communities, while upholding the trust of a nation, and stand firmly against those few who would tarnish our badge.”

In early November 2018, Carlos Campos identified a potential drug courier and provided that information to Jesse Holt, a tow truck driver. Holt passed the information Ricardo Diaz – the then husband of Julissa Diaz - who gave it to his wife and asked her to conduct the illegal stop.

On Nov. 8, 2018, Julissa Diaz stopped and arrested the occupant who was actually an undercover officer posing as the drug courier. The vehicle contained eight kilograms of cocaine. Julissa Diaz deliberately left the drugs in the car so the co-conspirators could then steal it. Holt was stationed nearby and towed the car away.

Ricardo Diaz - her now ex-husband, 46, Campos, 35 and Holt, 46, all of Houston, also pleaded guilty. Campos later received an 87-month sentence, while Ricardo Diaz was sentenced to 108 months. Holt was ordered to serve a 42-month term of imprisonment. All of the sentences will be immediately followed by five years of supervised release.

Julissa Diaz was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The DEA and HPD conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Craig Feazel and John Jocher prosecuted the case.

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