CHICAGO (CBS) — A DEA agent has been charged with helping an international drug trafficking ring smuggle guns and drugs, starting when he was an Evanston police detective.
Fernando Gomez, 41, was arrested Tuesday at the DEA’s field office in Chicago, and was due to appear in court Tuesday afternoon in Chicago.
Gomez was charged with racketeering conspiracy in a superseding indictment unsealed in New York, as part of a case against several members of the Organizacion de Narcotraficantes Unidos (La UNO), a group of drug traffickers based in Puerto Rico. According to the indictment, the gang smuggled cocaine into New York and elsewhere, and is responsible for at least eight murders dating back to 2006.
Federal prosecutors allege Gomez began working with La UNO while he was a detective with the Evanston Police Department, and helped obtain guns from drug dealers, and transport them to Puerto Rico, where he gave them to gang leader Jose Martinez-Diaz, also known as “Tony Zinc.”
The indictment alleges Gomez later joined the DEA to help the gang evade prosecution.
“Fernando Gomez is a special agent of the DEA, an organization committed to upholding the nation’s drug laws and relentless in its pursuit of narcotics traffickers. But as alleged, Gomez joined the DEA to betray those laws, and to help narcotics traffickers evade detection by law enforcement. He will now be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, of the Southern District of New York, said in a statement.
Gomez faces 20 years to life in prison if convicted.
In addition to Gomez and Martinez-Diaz, eight other members of La UNO are charged as part of the conspiracy. The first charges in the case were filed in 2016.