Lee County deputy accused of tipping off drug operation


A Lee County deputy is off the career after currently being accused of tipping off a massive drug operation ahead of it was busted again in Could.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Place of work explained 1 of its deputies texted with a loved ones who investigators say was working cocaine and fentanyl.

Detectives performed a large-scale drug bust in Could at a Gateway house that led to a number of arrests, as well as the confiscation of numerous kilos of cocaine, fentanyl, and thousands and thousands of bucks in money and property.

The sheriff’s business office referred to as it the most important bust in county historical past.

When investigators commenced wanting at the cell phones of the suspects, they uncovered far more than 3,000 messages and shots shared involving Deputy Jasmine Lee and just one of the associates of the Cossio family members.

“If her mobile phone range is on there 3,000 instances, it most likely would have arrive up in several of the investigative methods used by the sheriff’s section,” defined Wealthy Kolko, WINK Information Protection & Safety Expert.

Searching further into the messages, investigators say Lee shared private and delicate information about investigators pursuing a site visitors stop of 1 of the Cossio relatives associates. Investigators say her messages may perhaps have hindered the investigation and set life at risk given that she presented unique investigative techniques that the community would not usually know.

Interior Affairs investigations show that there ended up various suggestions noted from 2014 to 2016 that Lee was perhaps associated with main drug dealers in the location, but due to the fact there was minimal information, no follow-ups had been performed.

Lee explained to investigators she has recognized members of the Cossio family members because she was 6 years aged and went to college with some of them. She also attended family gatherings with the Cossios and even went on visits with a person of them.

The IA report exhibits Lee denied any prison involvement but admitted to facilitating a drug transaction that eventually didn’t come about. For the reason that of the statute of constraints, she was not charged for that. Even so, she is now dealing with several fees that incorporate unlawful conduct and poor carry out.

“Once this household realized that they ended up underneath investigation, they would have transformed their strategies, manufactured the investigation a lot more challenging to do and it’s possible even previous part of the case down the road,” Kolko mentioned.

The report also describes a condition the place 1 of the Cossio loved ones members was pulled in excess of by a detective. Deputy Lee known as that detective and requested what happened and mentioned she was a spouse and children good friend. Investigators say she then shared sensitive information and facts about the stop with a different member of the family. The detective afterwards noted that connect with with Lee.

“If they see anything suspicious, even in their section, it’s their work to report it to inside affair,’ Kolko described. “That is suspicious that that deputy designed the ideal phone by reporting it.”

The suspects arrested through the bust have more than 70 merged prior arrests, mostly connected to medicines. Arrested were Gabriel M. Cossio, 60 Gabriel M. Cossio Jr., 32 Melissa Cossio, 33 Jesus F. Cossio, 58 Aaron Pruitt, 52 Christopher Ramirez, 53. All have given that been launched from jail.