Former Police Officer Sent to Federal Prison
HOUSTON, November 6, 2013 - Michael Mares, a former officer with the Onalaska Police Department, has been ordered to federal prison for providing firearms to a convicted felon, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Mares, 51, pleaded guilty, admitting he knowingly sold a firearm and various police items to a convicted felon who was planning a home invasion in which he and others planned on impersonating police officers.
Today, U.S. District Judge Nancy Atlas ordered Mares serve a term of 37 months in federal prison. At the hearing, the court admonished Mares that when police officers arrive at a home, citizens rely on them actually being police officers and that Mares helped others who intended to abuse that trust to commit crimes.
On August 30, 2011, a FBI confidential source met with Mares and provided him with $1,000 to purchase a firearm, five police T-shirts, and police strobe lights. The source told Mares that he was a convicted felon. The source further noted he and others were going to conduct a home invasion of a narcotics trafficker and intended to impersonate police officers in order to gain control of the residence. Mares agreed to purchase the items for him.
The investigation culminated in the indictment of 25 members and associates of the Texas Mexican Mafia charged with drug trafficking, various firearms offenses, and violent crimes in aid of racketeering.
According to the indictment, the TMM formed in the early 1980s in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The defendants conspired with one another and others from 2008 through October 2012 to procure illegal drugs and distribute the drugs to numerous associates involved in drug trafficking in order to carry out the business of the gang. Gang members also sold numerous assault rifles and other guns, as well as detonation cord to FBI sources.
Mares has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The four-year investigation was conducted by the FBI; Texas Department of Public Safety; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; and Houston Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Tim S. Braley and Mark Donnelly are prosecuting.
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