Coffee City Police Chief Arrested: Tampering Charges After Department Disbandment


On Wednesday morning, the former head of the dissolved Coffee City police department was arrested at Henderson County Jail on suspicion of tampering with official records.

On September 12, the Coffee City Council dismissed John Jay Portillo, the chief’s recruiting practices came to light two weeks earlier thanks to an investigation by KHOU 11.

In the small hamlet of only 250 residents, the department employed 50 officers, more than half of them had come from law enforcement positions where they had been suspended, demoted, fired, or dishonorably discharged.

Members of the municipal council also overwhelmingly decided to dissolve the police department in an uncommon move.

It was also discovered by KHOU 11 Investigates that Portillo failed to mention any felony charges on his application for the position of chief police officer in Coffee City. According to court documents, Portillo was charged with DWI in 2004 in Bay County, Florida; because he did not show up for court, an arrest warrant was issued for him.

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