UPDATE, Dec. 10: At a detention hearing on Thursday morning, a federal judge set bond at $10,000 for officer Monica Garcia; it was unclear if she had since posted and been released.
She also waived arraignment during the hearing and entered a "not guilty" plea to various federal drug charges stemming from her recent arrest by the DEA.
Garcia has retained well-known El Paso criminal attorney Joe Spencer to represent her as case moved towards trial.
Garcia remains on administrative leave from the El Paso Police Department, where a spokesman on Thursday described her employment status as "pending termination process."
ORIGINAL REPORT, Dec. 4: EL PASO, Texas -- Federal authorities on Friday arrested an El Paso police officer accused of helping an alleged drug dealer to peddle cocaine in the Borderland.
An indictment unsealed Friday at the time of her arrest contends 23-year-old officer Monica Lisette Garcia "used her law enforcement access with EPPD to conduct counter-surveillance measures for (44-year-old Fred) Saenz, including running license plates on vehicles associated with undercover operations."
Garcia and Saenz are facing a series of drug-related charges involving possession, distribution and conspiracy. If convicted, Garcia faces up to 20 years in federal prison while Saenz could get as much as 40 years.
Garcia "is alleged to have committed serious crimes, which are compounded by the fact that she was sworn to uphold the law,” said Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent-in-charge Kyle Williamson.
The arrests and indictments came after DEA agents said they seized over $14,000 and about 1.2 kilograms of cocaine in searches of two homes owned by Saenz as part of a drug trafficking investigation.
EPPD said Garcia has been on the police force for two years and worked out of the Northeast Regional Command. Chief Greg Allen said his department's Internal Affairs unit is "moving forward with termination proceedings" against Garcia.