Ex-law enforcement officer sent to prison for transporting purported drug money
HOUSTON, TX -- A former deputy constable and her husband have been ordered to federal prison after admitting to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
Betty Jean Molina, 58, pleaded guilty Oct. 21, 2020, while her husband - Henry Molina, 60 - entered his plea July 28, 2020. Both reside in Houston.
Today, U.S. District Judge George C. Hanks Jr. ordered Betty and Henry Molina to serve 87 and 80 months in federal prison, respectively. Each was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release following their imprisonment and must pay a $29,000 fine. At the hearing, the court heard how they used their experience, resources and Betty Molina’s law enforcement credentials to help traffic drugs and money from the sale of those drugs for what they believed to be a large-scale drug trafficking organization. In handing down the sentence, Judge Hanks noted the potential harm to the community of trafficking heroin and other illegal drugs, the couple’s disregard of those potential harms and Betty Molina’s abuse of her public trust.
“The FBI Houston Law Enforcement and Border Corruption Task Force is uniquely qualified to ensure that law enforcement officers who blatantly betray their sworn oath for personal gain are rooted out,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Perrye K. Turner. “As a result of today's sentencing, the Molinas will be held accountable for their actions. The task force especially appreciates those who are willing to come forward to share knowledge of these crimes.'
The couple admitted to transporting what they believed to be approximately a half-million dollars in drug trafficking proceeds on multiple occasions. They had also agreed to transport what they believed was two kilograms of heroin.
At the time of the offense, Betty Molina was a deputy constable with Harris County Precinct 5 Constable’s Office. As part of her plea, she admitted to using her law enforcement credentials when stopped for speeding on one of their trips.
As part of the pleas, the couple admitted to obtaining several thousand dollars of what they believed to be drug proceeds and brought it back to Houston. On at least one occasion, they also transported a significant amount of narcotics.
In return, they received approximately $30,000 combined for all of their criminal actions.
Both were permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The FBI Houston Law Enforcement and Border Corruption Task Force, which includes the Houston Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety and the Department of Homeland Security – Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation with the assistance of Harris County Constable Precinct 5. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alamdar S. Hamdani and Arthur R. Jones prosecuted the case.