Federal indictment alleged that Milwaukee Police Detective Huerta protected his relative, a known drug dealer.
By H. Nelson Goodson
May 2, 2013
Milwaukee, WI - On Thursday, Milwaukee Police Department sources confirmed that Detective Willie Huerta, 39, has been suspended with pay from the department pending the outcome of a federal case filed against him in connection of providing police information and protection services for his cousin, Julio Cruz, 42, a known drug dealer who was charged with distributing cocaine.
Det. Huerta was charged in federal court on Wednesday with obstruction of justice for helping to prevent several police officers in early 2011 from using a K-9 dog to search Cruz' tow-truck for drugs, which the truck had an ounce of cocaine and marijuana hidden, according to an informant. Huerta remains free on bond and if convicted, he is facing up to 25 years in a federal prison.
An FBI investigation determined that an informant who accompanied Cruz in the January 2011 stop provided credible information that led to Huerta's arrest and charges for using his authority to aid known criminals. A call made by Cruz to his son to get in touch with Huerta to get him out of the jam were confirmed by cellphone records. Det. Huerta calling one of the officers who stopped Cruz was also confirmed, according to the federal criminal complaint. Huerta was able to fool officers at the scene that Cruz and the informant were under surveillance and should be released to avoid jeopardizing their case.
The informant told federal investigators of the incident and that he knew Huerta before becoming a cop and who later was promoted to detective assigned to a federal drug task force.
Huerta had been working with the sensitive crimes unit when he was suspended.