Ex-cop, 4 others nabbed in drug sting

By: Jennifer P. Rendon

A dismissed cop and his four alleged cohorts were arrested in a police anti-narcotics operation afternoon of Nov. 21, 2019 at Leganes, Iloilo.

Andy Aspero, 33, of Barangay San Isidro, LaPaz, Iloilo City, was collared after he allegedly sold suspected shabu to a civilian asset and police poseur buyer for P60,000.

Members of the Iloilo Police Provincial Office – Provincial Drug Enforcement Unit (IPPO-PDEU) and Leganes and Maasin police stations later arrested his four cohorts in succeeding operations that all happened in Barangay Bigke, Leganes.

They were identified as Jovan Zarragoza, 22, of Barangay Tabuc Suba, Jaro, Iloilo City; Liza Barcebas, 39, of dela Rama St., City Proper, Iloilo City; Joremae Mena, 31, of Barangay Bakhaw, Mandurriao, Iloilo City; and John Joseph Ravena, 28, of Oton, Iloilo.

The suspects yielded 9 plastic sachets of suspected shabu, illegal drugs paraphernalia, and P60,000 boodle money.

Police Major Jonathan Pinuela, IPPO-PDEU chief, said the value of the recoveries were pegged at P500,000.

After the transaction with the suspect was consummated, police contacted several persons believed to be getting drugs supply from him.

Pinuela said Barcebas first fell into their trap.

Barcebas, who opted to use her maiden name Dionora, is the wife of drug personality Joel Barcebas who was arrested in early 2000 and remains incarcerated.

After Barcebas, Ravena appeared in Leganes, then Mena, and Zarragoza.

Mena was regarded a slippery drug personality until his arrest Thursday.

Pinuela said Aspero used to be a patrol member of the Iloilo City Police Station 1 but went AWOL (absence without official leave) in 2013.

The following year, police operatives raided the house of the notorious Barcebas brothers in Dela Rama Street, where the suspect used to reside.

While Aspero was not around, police recovered his police uniform in the area.

Aspero allegedly got shabu from Bacolod City and Negros a Occidental.

But Pinuela believed that the drugs came from Manila then passed through Cebu, before reaching Negros Occidental.

The five suspects are now detained and would be charged for violation of Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002).