WACO, Texas—A former East Texas police chief has pleaded guilty to abusing access to a crime database at the request of a drug trafficking suspect.

A U.S. Attorney's office statement says former Normangee Police Chief Joseph Ray "Jody" Navarro pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday in Waco to illegally obtaining information from a law enforcement computer system.

Court documents show the 41-year-old Madisonville resident admitted to running a background check on a license plate and name in May 2013. The request came from Brenda Antanette Evans, a 45-year-old Normangee resident suspected of trafficking in methamphetamine.

Navarro faces up to one year in federal prison and fined up to $100,000 when sentenced March 19. He relinquishes his peace officer's license.

Evans was sentenced earlier this month to five years in federal prison.