Houston police officer charged in evidence tampering case

- Officer Julissa Guzman Diaz has been charged with evidence tampering and relieved of duty, the Houston Police Department says.

Diaz was arrested and her bond was increased to $100,000. She appeared in court on Friday morning.

FOX 26 News learned in court that Officer Diaz, while in uniform, was involved in an undercover operation where cocaine, in plain view, was allegedly tampered with as Officer Diaz conducted a routine traffic stop. The undercover officer told Diaz the cocaine was not his as she refused to acknowledge the narcotics. I️t was only after Diaz had the vehicle towed and dropped the undercover officer off at a sobering center, when she was arrested.

“If these charges are correct, then certainly she is a disgrace to the badge that we all hold so dear and she needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," says Houston Police Officer's Union 2nd vice president Joseph Gamaldi.

Having served since January of 2006, Diaz was assigned to the Clear Lake Patrol Division.

Instead of approaching her twelfth year working for HPD, she stands accused by her very own.

“In fact, our officers started the investigation and completed it and it certainly goes to show you that all the naysayers out there that say we have a thin blue line, a silence, that is certainly not the case because it was our officers that took her down," says Gamaldi.

Diaz is next scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 13.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo released the following statement:

Ms. Diaz's betrayal of the public trust and oath of office is inconsistent with the dedication of the men and women of the Houston Police Department (HPD) and their tireless, honorable service.  While we cannot overstate our depth of disappointment, we take solace in the fact the investigation that led to Ms. Diaz's arrest was conducted by men and women of the HPD, the same organization and co-workers she betrayed.  We look forward to working with the Harris County District Attorney's office to ensure she is held to the highest level of accountability under the law.  Ms. Diaz's peace officer powers have been suspended and she has been placed on administrative leave pending the completion of an internal affairs investigation.  I urge anyone with information regarding her criminal misconduct or misconduct by any member of the Houston Police Department to contact us.

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