EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — A former El Paso police officer who helped her stepfather stash and distribute cocaine faces up to 20 years in prison.

Monica Garcia, 24, on Monday, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to maintain a drug-involved premise, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Garcia used her position as an El Paso police officer to conduct countersurveillance and run license plate registrations to identify undercover police vehicles near her stepfather’s residence and stash house.

She then used that information to help her stepfather, Fred Saenz, avoid detection by law enforcement while he distributed cocaine.

On Nov. 10, 2020, agents seized $14,405 from Saenz’s residence and 1.2 kilograms of cocaine from a stash house. On July 26, he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute over 500 grams of cocaine. He faces 40 years in prison.

When Garcia was indicted in December, EPPD Police Chief Greg Allen lamented the alleged involvement of a public servant in a serious crime.

“All El Paso Police Department employees are sworn to uphold the law and are held to the highest of standards,” he said. “The men and women of the El Paso Police Department are dedicated to serving the community and are appalled at the actions of this individual.”