An Alabama National Guard member is accused of trying to smuggle drugs near the Mexico border in Texas, officials said.
Federal investigators said Derrick Terelle Sankey agreed to drive a kilogram of cocaine from a Whataburger restaurant in Hidalgo to a hotel in neighboring McAllen.
But the deal was actually part of an undercover investigation.
Sankey was wearing his military uniform and driving a U.S. Border Patrol vehicle when he arrived at the fast-food restaurant Monday, according to a criminal complaint. After Sankey met with an undercover agent and took possession of a package, he was arrested by U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
During an interview, Sankey told investigators he believed the package with a kilogram of drugs had been brought into the U.S. from Mexico and that he was going to be paid $1,000, according to the complaint.
Sankey was charged with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, approximately one kilogram of cocaine.
U.S. Magistrate Judge J. Scott Hacker determined Sankey had a "substantial amount of money in checking and savings accounts" while assessing whether he would be appointed a public defender, MyRGV.com reported.
It's unclear whether Sankey was assigned to serve at the southern border.
A spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which includes the Border Patrol, deferred comment to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. A spokesperson in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security declined to provide information beyond the criminal complaint.
The Alabama National Guard did not respond to an email on Tuesday.
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