Former Onalaska Police Officer Sent to Federal Prison, HOUSTON, November 6, 2013 - Michael Mares, a former officer with the Onalaska Police Department, has been ordered to federal prison for providing firearms to a convicted felon, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Mares, 51, pleaded guilty, admitting he knowingly sold a firearm and various police items to a convicted felon who was planning a home invasion in which he and others planned on impersonating police officers. Today, U.S. District Judge Nancy Atlas, ordered Mares serve a term of 37 months in federal prison. At the hearing, the court admonished Mares that when police officers arrive at a home, citizens rely on them actually being police officers and that Mares helped others who intended to abuse that trust to commit crimes. On Aug. 30, 2011, a FBI confidential source met with Mares and provided him with $1000 to purchase a firearm, five police t-shirts and police strobe lights. The source told Mares that he was a convicted felon. The source further noted he and others were going to conduct a home invasion of a narcotics trafficker and intended to impersonate police officers in order to gain control of the residence. Mares agreed to purchase the items for him. The investigation culminated in the indictment of 25 members and associates of the Texas Mexican Mafia charged with drug trafficking, various firearms offenses and violent crimes in aid of racketeering. According to the indictment, the TMM formed in the early 1980s in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The defendants conspired with one another and others from 2008 through October 2012 to procure illegal drugs and distribute the drugs to numerous associates involved in drug trafficking in order to carry out the business of the gang. Gang members also sold numerous assault rifles and other guns as well as detonation cord to FBI sources. Mares has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future. The four-year investigation was conducted by the FBI, Texas Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Alcohol,Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Houston Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Tim S. Braley and Mark Donnelly are prosecuting.
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Onalaska Police Officer Charged with Providing Firearms to Mexican Mafia, HOUSTON, October 11, 2012 - Onalaska Police Officer Michael Anthony Mares, 50, of Houston, was arrested in an apparent sting operation centered on bringing down a prison gang known as the Texas Mexican Mafia. Mares was arrested in Houston and is facing felony charges of providing firearms including pistols, rifles and assault rifles to the mafia members. The Texas Mexican Mafia reportedly has paramilitary capabilities and has a chain of command that includes a president, vice president, generals, captains, and other officers. According to Chron.com, Onalaska Police Chief, Ron Gilbert is quoted as saying, "It is a shock to me, but we knew something was wrong because he didn't show up". According to Gilbert, Mares' supervisors have aluded to him that Mares had been acting strange in the last couple of months, but that they didn't know why he was acting strange. Arrests were made Wednesday and Thursday in Houston, Corpus Christi, San Antonio as well as in prisons and along the Texas-Mexico border, according to a statement from authorities.