Federal Authorities Allege That Sgt. Alvaro Murillo Stole From Drug
Dealers Then Sold the Drugs.
A veteran Huntington Park police officer once assigned to a federal
anti-drug task force was arrested Thursday on charges that he
conspired with others to distribute large quantities of cocaine and
marijuana, federal authorities said.
Sgt. Alvaro Murillo, who allegedly was called "The Godfather" by his
cohorts, is accused of using his job as a police officer to recruit
informants in the drug world, then use them to help him steal
narcotics from dealers.
Murillo allegedly arranged for the drugs to be put back on the street
for his own profit, according to an indictment unsealed in U.S.
District Court in Los Angeles.
One of Murillo's informants, Alberto Del Real-Gallardo, who
authorities said was dubbed the "Fat Man," was also arrested Thursday.
In the indictment, prosecutors detailed several instances in which
Murillo and Real-Gallardo allegedly recruited informants to gather
intelligence on drug dealers and then ripped them off. They were
charged with possessing, with intent to distribute, 5 kilograms of
cocaine and 340 kilos of marijuana.
"Sgt. Murillo abused his position of trust to line his pockets with
money earned from the sale of illicit drugs," U.S. Atty. Thomas P.
O'Brien said in a statement. "As a result . . . [he's] facing a
lengthy stint in federal prison."
Both defendants face potential life sentences if convicted, because
of the quantities of the drugs involved, but are likely to receive
According to prosecutors, Murillo, 44, of West Covina and
Real-Gallardo, 40, of Palmdale would press informants for information
about suspected drug dealers who would make good targets.
Murillo would run the information through a law enforcement database
to make sure that they were not the subject of a legitimate law
enforcement investigation. If they were found to be a suitable
target, the defendants would arrange for a meeting at which they
would take drugs "by trick, the intervention of defendant Murillo, or
other means," the indictment said. The informants would be rewarded
with a cut of the drugs or money from the subsequent sale.
They referred to the rip-offs as "black tactic" operations, "coded
language signifying they would work the drug trafficker for their own
benefit rather than as a legitimate law enforcement case," according
to the indictment. In addition to Murillo and Real-Gallardo, the
indictment referred to several other "unindicted co-conspirators,"
one of whom went by the moniker "The Columbian."
In one case, after at least one of the informants they had recruited
was secretly working for the government, they allegedly plotted to
steal 30 kilos of cocaine from an undercover Drug Enforcement
Administration agent. The plot failed, but the indictment did not explain why.
In 2005 and 2006, Murillo was assigned to a DEA task force. He was
suspended from the Huntington Park Police Department in 2006 after
authorities became suspicious of his activities.
In court Thursday, prosecutors sought to have Murillo held without
bond and submitted excerpts of secretly recorded telephone calls
showing that he, among other things, knew that Real-Gallardo had been
recruited by Mexican drug dealers to kidnap a man who owed them a
$3-million drug debt but failed to report the plot to authorities.
Murillo also appeared worried that a mistress whom he had lent
$10,000 would "open her trap about the money" and attract the
attention of law enforcement, according to excerpts of a conversation.
Murillo was released on $200,000 bond.
Newshawk: DrugSense Weekly www.drugsense.org/current.htm
Pubdate: Fri, 18 Jan 2008
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 2008 Los Angeles Times
Author: Scott Glover Los Angeles, Times Staff Writer
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