HPD Busts Police Impersonator Targeting Immigrants

August 8, 2007 - Investigators in the Houston Police Department Major Offenders Division are asking other potential victims to come forward following the arrest of a suspect charged with impersonating a police officer and pocketing thousands of dollars from unsuspecting undocumented immigrants in the southeast Houston area, Pasadena, and La Porte.

Jose Luis Montes Jr. (H/m, DOB: 7-19-82) was arrested on August 2, 2007, and is charged with impersonating a police officer and felony theft from a person in the 178th State District Court. He is also charged with unlawfully carrying a weapon in Harris County Criminal Court #14.

Montes is Hispanic, 25, about 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs 160 pounds. He has short black hair, a mustache and goatee, and has a scar on his left eyebrow. He drove a black Chevrolet Avalanche pickup truck and a white four door Chevrolet Impala.

Montes allegedly targeted immigrants who were presumed to be in the United States illegally. He approached the victims and identified himself as a police officer, while wearing a bulletproof vest, a gun, handcuffs, and a badge. Montes told the victims he had a friend who worked at the Immigration Department and could help them get their immigration documents processed for a fee. He offered assistance to take the victims to financial institutions to take out loans to cover the fees, in addition to borrowing money from friends and relatives. Once the victims completed paying Montes the money needed to process the documents, he told them he would take them to an Immigration judge to sign the documents. Montes then left the victims stranded, changed his cell phone number and kept the money. The victims are left with large debts that range from $10,000 to $30,000.

Anyone who has been victimized by Jose Luis Montes Jr. is urged to contact the HPD Major Offenders Division at 713-308-3100.

VHS/JFC 8-8-07

For additional information, please contact the HPD Public Affairs Division at 713-308-3200.