The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOSE) announced Thursday that a former training coordinator for Sul Ross Law Enforcement Academy has been indicted for tampering with the state licensing exam.

A Brewster County Grand Jury returned three indictments on April 16 against Kellie Powell, former training coordinator for Sul Ross Law Enforcement Academy, according to a prepared statement issued by TCLEOSE officials.

The three indictments charge Powell with tampering with a government record —specifically, the state licensing exam — by assisting students while taking the exam. The three charges are state jail felonies, according to the TCLEOSE statement.

The charges are the result of an investigation conducted by investigators from the Enforcement Division of the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education.

Sul Ross State University officials learned of the ongoing TCLEOSE investigation just prior to Powell’s resignation in August 2011, according to a statement released by the university Friday morning.

“We sincerely regret this incident,” said Sul Ross State University President Dr. Ricardo Maestas. “Sul Ross State University strives to maintain high standards in all of our academic endeavors. We cooperated fully with TCLEOSE officials during the course of their investigation.”

Lloyd Dragoo, former coordinator of the Middle Rio Grande Law Enforcement Academy at Southwest Texas Junior College, Uvalde, was hired in November 2011 to replace Powell.

The fall 2011 Sul Ross LEA graduating class achieved a 100 percent pass rate on the state licensing exam, according the university's statement Friday.

The statement issued Thursday by TCLEOSE officials concluded with, "An indictment is no evidence of guilt and all defendants are presumed to be innocent."

For more on this story, see next week's Alpine Avalanche.

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