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Ex-Sheriff’s Deputy Sentenced For Distributing Cocaine

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File photo of a courtroom. (credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

File photo of a courtroom. (credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a former sheriff’s deputy in West Texas has been sentenced to four years in prison for distributing cocaine.

Inoe R. Valdez Jr. was sentenced Thursday in Lubbock. The 43-year-old Valdez worked as a deputy for the sheriff’s office in Yoakum County, which borders New Mexico.

Valdez pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful use of a communications facility.

The investigation began when a traffic stop involving a suspected drug trafficker revealed various cell phone messages to Valdez.

Prosecutors say Valdez admitted he was part of a conspiracy to distribute cocaine from July 2009 until August 2010.

He told state Department of Public Safety investigators that financial debts led him to sell the drug.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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