A longtime Mesquite police officer was sentenced to 15 months in prison on Monday for stealing money he thought was from a drug dealer but was really part of an FBI sting operation.
John David McAllister, 42, headed the Mesquite police department’s narcotics unit. He was a 22-year veteran of the department.
McAllister was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sam Lindsay in a plea deal. He pleaded guilty just weeks after his arrest to one count of stealing government money.
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The FBI set up an elaborate sting operation on March 1 after receiving a tip McAllister was stealing money from drug dealers.
Agents called him to help search a supposed drug dealer’s car, which contained a bag with $100,000 in marked cash.
The car was secretly wired with cameras and recorded him stuffing a bundle of $2,000 into his pants.
Agents later followed him to a mall, where he bought a $480 watch and other items. He still had some of the marked bills in his wallet when agents arrested him, prosecutors said.
McAllister could have been sentenced up to 10 years behind bars.
He must report to federal prison on July 19.