San Antonio

Child porn, bribery cases against ex-SAPD officer in peril after warrants tossed out

SAN ANTONIO – Search warrants in a number of felony cases against a former San Antonio police officer had been tossed out Friday after a state district choose dominated the proof was obtained improperly, court docket information present.

Judge Velia Meza dominated that proof from warrants in 2021 baby pornography and bribery cases against Erik Rodriguez should be suppressed, that means that proof can’t be utilized by prosecutors transferring ahead.

The order concludes a greater than year-long try by attorneys for Rodriguez to get the proof thrown out.

Meza, in her 30-page ruling, listed a litany of errors made by the San Antonio Police Department detective who wrote the affidavits for the warrants after which received judges to signal them.

Rodriguez, a 14-year veteran of SAPD, was first arrested in January 2021 after being accused of giving a suspect in a home violence case data in change for money.

SAPD officers introduced Rodriguez’s arrest as they had been investigating him for way more critical offenses, court docket information reveal.

That identical month Rodriguez was indicted by a Bexar County grand jury for misuse of public data, bribery and baby pornography.

Rodriguez was allegedly in possession of a video that confirmed an underage baby engaged in sexual bestiality, officers with the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office beforehand mentioned.

Prosecutors first raised points final year with how the warrants had been obtained after which once more throughout a listening to in June.

The SAPD detective assigned to the case, Aisha Jackson, admitted throughout the June listening to that she had “omitted a lot of information from the first warrant affidavit,” Meza’s order states.

“Detective Jackson believed that she had authority under the first warrant to seize the phone. However, she knew that the warrant she had to seize the phone would not authorize a search of the phone because it was not signed by a District Court Judge,” the order states.

The affidavit and search warrant had been as an alternative signed by a Justice of the Peace choose, information present.

The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure requires {that a} warrant to go looking the contents of an individual’s cellphone be issued by a district court docket choose in the judicial district the place the cellphone is positioned.

“Although the court finds Detective Jackson to be a truthful and credible witness, her affidavit did not contain sufficient facts to support probable cause for the first warrant,” wrote Meza, who referred to SAPD taking Rodriguez’s cellphone as a “warrantless seizure.”

Evidence from a second warrant obtained by SAPD a day after the primary warrant was issued may not be used in court docket, because it “came from the fruits of the first warrant,” Meza’s order states.

“I think the judge followed the law and the facts as they came out,” mentioned Jaime Cavazos, Rodriguez’s legal protection legal professional.

Cavazos was sharply vital of SAPD, stating that its detectives want retraining on requesting cellphone search warrants and may study that they can not method them as common search warrants.

Cavazos mentioned SAPD is violating the constitutional rights of individuals they’re investigating.

SAPD officers on Monday didn’t reply to an electronic mail searching for remark.

A spokesperson for Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales mentioned through electronic mail the office couldn’t touch upon pending cases.

It is feasible prosecutors may enchantment Meza’s ruling.

Prosecutors beforehand dismissed a lesser cost of misuse of public data against Rodriguez in late June.

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