By BOBBY HORN JR.
A Houston police officer was shot in Northeast Houston Feb. 24 while attempting to serve an arrest warrant against a suspected member of a drug cartel.
DEA spokeswoman Lisa Johnson said that Nash Patel was serving on a multi-jurisdictional task force. The task force, in response to the shooting death of federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agent Jaime Zapata in Mexico last week, was conducting a sweep of several sites in the U.S. and Central America, Columbia and Brazil.
During the raid (known as Operation Bombardier), officer Patel was shot in the elbow and lower back.
He was taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital, where he is expected to have a fully recovery. The shooting suspect, identified as Mario Sosa Nunez, 33, was also wounded and was treated at Houston Northwest Hospital. He reportedly had several gunshots to his body.
The raid occurred at 207 Buckboard (near Imperial Valley), in the Greenspoint area, around 8:25 a.m. The scene of the raid is near Aldine ISD’s Black Elementary. School officials said that the school was on lock-down for several hours.
Houston Police said team members entered the house and were met by one armed suspect who began firing at officers with a handgun. Patel was the only officer hit.
Another suspect in the house, Albelino Serrato Espinoza, 30, was unarmed, and surrendered without incident.
This was not Patel’s first experience with being shot at during a narcotics raid. In 2008 he was part of a team that conducted a raid on a suspected drug house. The first officer to enter the house, HPD officer Rick Salter was shot in the face at point blank range. Patel, who was standing behind Salter, lifted the officer onto his shoulder and carried him to a nearby ambulance, saving his life.
Patel has served with the department since 1997. In November 2006 he became a narcotics officer.
The FBI says that the operation had a major impact in disrupting the cartel’s operations.
The joint task force, operating in various sites around the Houston area seized approximately $750,000 in U.S. currency, 322 pounds of marijuana, 13 kilograms of cocaine, 37 weapons, 10 vehicles, and arrested of 33 individuals.
Participating in these joint operations were: ATF, ICE-HSI, DEA, FBI, IRS, U.S Marshals Service, United States Attorney’s Office, Texas Department of Public Safety, Houston PD, Harris County SO, Pasadena PD, LaPorte PD, Ft. Bend SO, Montgomery County SO, Galveston City PD, Galveston County SO, Rosenburg PD, Texas National Guard, Brazoria County SO, League City PD, Freeport PD, Lake Jackson PD, TDCJ-OIG, Harris County Constables Jefferson County SO, and the Harris and Ft. Bend District Attorney’s Office
By BOBBY HORN JR.