Two agents of the Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney’s Office – High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force have top honors from the Texas Narcotic Officers Association. HIDTA Commander Juan Pablo Sifuentes is “Supervisor of the Year” and Agent Genovevo “Geno” Martinez III “Narcotic Officer of the Year” for the TNOA South Region.
Both will receive recognition at the organization’s annual conference Aug. 19-22 in South Padre Island. Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez Jr. calls the recognition well-deserving.
“These agents exemplify the meaning of integrity in police work,” Rodriguez said. “Commander Sifuentes has lead the team by example and the results have been increased arrests and seizures. Agent Martinez’s surveillance and investigations have resulted in the seizure of over 5,576 pounds of marijuana, numerous tractor trailers and multiple arrests.”
Sifuentes took on the responsibility of leading the Hidalgo County DA HIDTA Task Force in 2016. He is a 20-year law enforcement veteran. Sifuentes began his career with the Weslaco Police Department, where he became chief of police. He joined the county’s HIDTA Task Force in 2006 as an agent. During his tenure, Sifuentes’s honors include TNOA’s 2013 Narcotic Officer of the Year and 2015 HIDTA Agent of the Year. He is also an FBI Task Force Officer and HSI Task Force Officer.
“As a supervisor, Commander Sifuentes is the most thorough in his approach to motivating narcotics agents in developing cases, achieving success, and creating an atmosphere of inclusion for all,” said Rodriguez. “He is continually evaluating, developing, and exposing every violation of the law, whether it be narcotics, financial, or civil forfeitures. Through his guidance and leadership, operation plans are logically designed to obtain the maximum amount of arrests, prosecutions, and seizures.”
Genovevo “Geno” Martinez III
Martinez is a 1992 graduate of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Reginal Police Academy. His service includes the La Feria and Mercedes police departments and the Cameron County Constable’s Office in La Feria. Martinez has received commendations from the City of La Feria and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. He also received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Department of Homeland Security. This was due to his contribution and assistance with Operation Tarnish Badges. In 2010, Martinez received the Outstanding Interdiction Effort Award from the executive office of the president-Office of National Drug Control Policy.
“Agent Martinez has been committed to law enforcement for 27 years and has specialized in the field of drug investigations for over 13 years with the Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney’s Office HIDTA Task Force,” Rodriguez said. “Agent Martinez has the experience and work ethic on initiating drug cases, which have helped him to obtain the respect from local, state, and federal officers.”
Federal grants from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy fund the HIDTA Task Force. The Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney’s HIDTA Task Force provides leadership and interagency collaboration. It also promotes the sharing of intelligence and information while providing specialized training to participating law enforcement and treatment agencies.
According to Rodriguez, in 2018, the Hidalgo County HIDTA Task Force made a total of 43 felony arrests and 20 misdemeanor arrests. Additionally, there were 31 other arrests in which HIDTA Agents assisted the Drug Enforcement Administration.