Ex-Laredo police officer gets prison in drug case

April 12, 2011 5:24:42 AM PDT
A South Texas police officer convicted of conspiring to safely escort loads of smuggled cocaine through Laredo is going to prison. A federal judge on Monday sentenced 28-year-old former Laredo Officer Orlando Jesus Hale to nearly 25 years behind bars.

A jury in September convicted Hale of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, plus using a firearm to further drug trafficking, over 2008 crimes.

Investigators say Hale was nabbed in an undercover investigation involving his personal vehicle and a police-issued radio to monitor traffic to guide and protect loads of cocaine.

Hale resigned from the police force following his conviction.