Bexar County SO deputy accused of collecting drug debts for inmate

A Bexar County Sheriff's deputy has found herself on the other side of a jail cell.

A Bexar County Sheriff's deputy has found herself on the other side of a jail cell.

Bexar County Sheriff's deputy Rita Alvarez was one of a handful of people arrested this morning by a federal drug task force.

The multi-agency collaborative, High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Task Force, executed four warrants at four different locations in Bexar County, including Alvarez's home in northwest San Antonio.

Sheriff Javier Salazar says Alvarez has been under investigation for months on allegations she was collecting drug debts for inmate Cristobal Perez, 35.

"It was physically given to her and then the money found its way to the inmate through electronic transactions," said Salazar.

Salazar says the deputy placed at least a couple hundred dollars in Perez' commissary account.

Alvarez worked in the jail annex, while Perez was housed across the street in the main detention center on Comal.

Perez has been in custody since late April for multiple drug related charges.

He's now facing a charge of Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity.

Alvarez is facing the same charge, along with a charge of Illegal Barter, Expenditures, and Investments.

So why would this deputy, who's been at the Sheriff's Office since 2006, throw away her career and freedom for an inmate?

"We don't know at this point if it was any sort of a romantic relationship or just a business relationship I can tell you, and you know well, any relationship is unacceptable," said Salazar.

Salazar wouldn't rule out gang involvement as a reason for the relationship, though he says Perez is not a documented gang member.

Right now, the Sheriff is hopeful no other deputies are involved.

"We're human, we had lives before we start our career. It's up to us to end those relationships when we choose to get into this profession, clearly in this case that didn't occur," said Salazar.

Alvarez is on unpaid administrative leave.  Salazar anticipates Alvarez's employment will be terminated.
 

© 2017 KENS-TV


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