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District Attorney Press Releases

Posted on: August 31, 2021

Former BCSO deputy indicted for unlawful search during traffic stop

On Monday, a Bexar County Grand Jury indicted a former deputy with the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office for multiple charges stemming from a traffic stop.

The first count of the indictment charges Joel Chavez with official oppression. It alleges that on Sep. 16, 2019, Chavez intentionally subjected Joel Fernandez to a search that Chavez knew was unlawful, and that Chavez was then and there acting under the color of his employment as a public servant, namely as a Bexar County Sheriff’s Deputy.

The second count of the indictment charges Chavez with tampering with a governmental record. It alleges Chavez knowingly made a false entry in a BCSO incident report, the false entry being a statement that Chavez “observed the driver lean forward as though possibly reaching under his seat,” and Chavez made the governmental record with knowledge of its falsity.

The third count of the indictment charges Chavez with tampering with a governmental record. It alleges Chavez knowingly made a false entry in a BCSO incident report, the false entry being a statement that Chavez “observed in plain view what appeared to be a metal dish with a white powdery substance in the passenger floorboard,” and Chavez made the governmental record with knowledge of its falsity.

This case is being prosecuted by the Public Integrity and Cyber Crime Division in the 186th District Court. Each count of the indictment is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a possible fine of up to $4,000.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt. A person charged by indictment is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a jury or a judge. Because these and potentially other cases are either pending or may be under investigation, we can make no further comment on them.

Copies of indictments may be requested from the Bexar County District Clerk. Information on court settings can be found by searching the case online or directly from the court. 

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