COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Three South Carolina law enforcement officers have pleaded guilty to charges connected to an FBI operation in which agents posed as Mexican drug cartel members.
The State reports Assistant U.S. Attorney Will Lewis told a judge Tuesday the officers thought they were protecting Mexican drug dealers, but FBI agents were actually posing as cartel members.
The Justice Department indicted a former Springfield officer and two former Orangeburg County deputies in March on the charges. Four others have pending cases.
The newspaper reports Lewis says FBI wiretaps and covert videos show the officers agreed to use patrol cars in uniform and accept payment to “guard” fake truckloads of drugs they were told were traveling through Orangeburg.
The operation began as an investigation into fraudulent visa-selling.