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Panama Unit Drug Conspiracy - Full Coverage
Latest Post: 04/30/2014 10:50 AM First Post: 12/13/2012 12:10 AM


Latest Update Judge Ends Sentencing Session in Panama Unit Case

04/30/2014 10:50 AM

McALLEN - A federal judge sentenced 12 defendants in two days in the Panama Unit corruption case.

U.S. District Judge Randy Crane on Wednesday finished the second half of sentencing in a marathon session.

The case involved nine local law enforcement officers working with local drug traffickers to escort drug loads north and to steal loads from rival traffickers. Members of the narcotics task force, the so-called Panama Unit, also conducted home invasions to steal drugs from ho… Click to Read More


5 Sentenced in Panama Unit Case

04/29/2014 02:10 PM

MCALLEN - A federal judge on Tuesday sentenced five defendants in the Panama Unit drug conspiracy case.

In addition to two drug traffickers, the defendants include nine former law enforcement officers. Prosecutors said the officers went into business with drug traffickers, instead of busting them.

Prosecutors wrapped up their presentation of their evidence for the sentencing hearing after lunch. The judge denied the defendants' motions for a continuance.

Several defens… Click to Read More


Agent: Panama Unit Members Stole Drugs Before Meeting Guerras

04/29/2014 10:53 AM

MCALLEN - Defendants in the Panama Unit drug conspiracy are in court for their sentencing. The government is presenting evidence to support their sentencing recommendation. The recommendation itself hasn't been announced yet.

The men awaiting sentencing are Jonathan Trevino, Alexis Espinoza, Fabian Rodriguez, Gerardo Duran, Salvador Arguello, Claudio Mata, Eric Alcantar, J.P. Flores, Jorge Garza, Fernando Guerra Sr. and Fernando Guerra Jr. With the exception of the Guerras, the remain… Click to Read More


Panama Unit Members to be Sentenced Today

04/29/2014 07:06 AM

MCALLEN - Eleven people connected with the Panama Unit drug conspiracy will be sentenced today. They include nine former law enforcement officers and two drug traffickers.

Sentencing for the group was originally scheduled for February. Requests for continuance pushed the scheduling back to today.

The now-defunct drug task force consisted of officers from the Mission Police Department and the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office. Prosecutors said instead of busting drug traffic… Click to Read More


Sentencing Rescheduled for Panama Unit Defendants

12/18/2013 12:17 PM

MCALLEN - A judge rescheduled sentencing for 12 defendants in the Panama Unit case. The hearings were previously scheduled for tomorrow.

Nine of 12 men indicted were convicted of using their law enforcement positions to help rip off narcotics loads from drug traffickers. The other three admitted to paying off the officers.

The government had requested a continuance for the sentencing hearings for Alvaro Gilberto DeHoyos and Jorge Garza. Prosecutors said it would be "in the int… Click to Read More


Sentencing Hearing Delayed for Disbanded Panama Unit

10/15/2013 07:57 PM

HIDALGO COUNTY - Twelve men convicted in a police corruption case will have to wait another two months before learning their fate.

Sentencing hearings linked to the disbanded Panama narcotics unit were set for this Thursday. A federal judge rescheduled them for December 19.

Nine of 12 men indicted were convicted of using their law enforcement positions to help rip off narcotics loads from drug traffickers. The other three admitted to paying off the officers.

All of the… Click to Read More


Ex-Hidalgo County Sheriff's Deputy Found Guilty

08/06/2013 12:56 PM

MCALLEN - A jury has found a former Hidalgo County sheriff's deputy guilty of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a thousand kilograms or more of marijuana.

Prosecutors claimed Jorge Garza took drugs from smugglers and resold them to traffickers. He faces a minimum of 10 years in prison. Garza was ordered into custody until a hearing tomorrow, which will determine if he'll remain on bond.

Closing arguments were heard this morning and jurors began deliberation aroun… Click to Read More


Jury Deliberating in Drug Trafficking Case

08/06/2013 11:43 AM

MCALLEN - A jury is deliberating the fate of a former Hidalgo County deputy accused of helping drug traffickers.

Closing arguments were made in Jorge Garza's trial this morning. Defense attorneys worked to discredit the government's witnesses. The prosecution reminded the jury to focus on determining if Garza took part in staged stops used to steal narcotics.

Jury deliberations began just after 11 a.m. and are expected to continue much of this afternoon.


Sheriff Testifies in Ex-Deputy's Drug Trafficking Trial

08/02/2013 11:53 AM

MCALLEN - The Hidalgo County sheriff is testifying in the drug trafficking trial of one of his former deputies.

Jorge Garza is accused of being part of a criminal enterprise comprised of lawmen and drug traffickers. Garza's attorneys subpoenaed Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino overnight. His testimony began around 11 a.m.

His moment in court drew a large number of spectators. The courtroom was packed.

So far, the defense has asked Trevino about the command structure… Click to Read More


District Attorney to Terminate Investigator

08/01/2013 08:29 PM

EDINBURG - Hidalgo County District Attorney Rene Guerra plans to serve one of his investigators termination papers on Friday.

He said he made the decision to fire Charlie Vela after Vela invoked his Fifth Amendment rights during the trial of former sheriff's deputy Jorge Garza.

Testimony continued in Garza's trial on Thursday. J.P. Flores, a deputy who already pleaded guilty to a drug conspiracy charge, testified he turned to Garza to help stage traffic stops for drug traffick… Click to Read More


Ex-Deputy Claims Oppressive Work Environment Forced Him to Turn to Drug Trafficker

08/01/2013 12:02 PM

MCALLEN - Testimony in a drug trafficking trial revealed the inner workings of the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office.

Retired Hidalgo County sheriff's deputy Jorge Garza is accused of being part of a criminal enterprise comprised of lawmen and drug traffickers. The defense spent the morning questioning J.P. Flores, a former deputy and close friend of Garza.

Flores painted a picture of an oppressive work environment that required participation in campaign fundraising and ticket s… Click to Read More


Former Deputy Testifies in Corruption Trial

07/31/2013 06:23 PM

McALLEN - A self-admitted corrupt deputy on Wednesday gave specific details about a scheme where crooked lawmen would steal drug loads from smugglers and then sell them to traffickers.

The confessions were the highlight of the second day of testimony in the trial of former Hidalgo County Deputy Jorge Garza. The retired deputy is accused of being part of the criminal enterprise comprised of lawmen and traffickers.

Former Hidalgo County Deputy James Phil Flores testified for the… Click to Read More


Trial Continues for Former Deputy Accused of Corruption

07/31/2013 11:48 AM

McALLEN - A trial continues for a former Hidalgo County sheriff's deputy accused of corruption.

Jorge Garza is accused of working with drug traffickers to steal drug loads from drug runners. He is accused of conducting bogus traffic stops to steal the drugs.

On Wednesday, attention shifted to key witness Fernando Guerra's trafficking career.

Defense attorney Lilly Ann Gutierrez focused on Guerra's involvement with former Hidalgo County District Attorney's Investigator … Click to Read More


Confessed Drug Dealers Testify at Former Deputy's Trial

07/30/2013 07:37 PM

McALLEN - Witnesses on Tuesday told jurors how a former deputy would conduct staged traffic stops on vehicles loaded with drugs.

The testimony was heard during the first day of the trial of Jorge Garza. The former Hidalgo County deputy sheriff is accused of working with drug traffickers.

Two witnesses told the jury about a stretch of Jesus Flores Road north of Edcouch where the fake stops would happen.

David Olivarez, an accused drug runner, testified that a deputy was… Click to Read More


Trafficker Testifies Against Former Deputy

07/30/2013 03:29 PM

McALLEN - A self-admitted drug trafficker testified Tuesday in court that former Hidalgo County sheriff's deputy Jorge Garza helped him and his father hijack drug loads.

Fernando Guerra Jr. described to jurors how Garza would stage traffic stops to seal the drugs.

Guerra's father, Fernando Guerra Sr., later took the stand.

The Guerras said in court they would split the profits from the hijacked loads.


Former Deputy To Go On Trial in Panama Unit Case

07/29/2013 06:10 PM

McALLEN - A former Hidalgo County sheriff's deputy accused of corruption will be the only one of several defendants to put his fate in the hands of a jury.

Jorge Garza's trial will begin Tuesday. He is charged in the Panama Unit drug corruption scandal.

Prosecutors said they intend to prove that the retired senior deputy was a major part in the web of corruption involving him and other lawmen.

Garza is accused of confiscating drug loads from smugglers and selling them … Click to Read More


Jury Seated in Former Deputy's Corruption Trial

07/29/2013 11:10 AM

McALLEN - A jury has been selected for the corruption trial of former Hidalgo County Deputy Jorge Garza.

Eight women and six men will hear opening statements Tuesday morning. The trial is expected to last two days.

Four witnesses are expected to testify, including some of Garza's former fellow lawmen and two confessed drug traffickers.


8th Ex-Law Enforcement Officer Pleads Guilty in Panama Unit Case

07/24/2013 11:31 AM

MCALLEN - A former Mission officer pleaded guilty in connection with the Panama Unit case. Alexis Espinoza admitted he used his position as a law enforcement officer to traffic narcotics in 2012.

A judge set the 30-year-old's sentencing for September 10. He faces up to life in prison and a potential fine of up to $10 million. He was allowed to remain on bond, pending his sentencing hearing.

Espinoza was a member of the now-defunct drug task force called the Panama Unit. Its me… Click to Read More


Former Investigator Expected to Plead Guilty

07/24/2013 08:19 AM

MCALLEN - Another ex-law enforcement officer is expected to plead guilty in connection with the Panama Unit drug conspiracy.

Alexis Espinoza, the son of Hidalgo Police Chief Rudy Espinoza, has a re-arraignment hearing scheduled this morning. Prosecutors claim he used his position as a Mission police officer to escort and protect drug loads in exchange for money.

Espinoza was part of a special narcotics task force known as the Panama Unit. Espinoza was heading to a trial, but h… Click to Read More


Only 2 Headed to Trial after Latest Plea in Panama Unit Conspiracy

07/11/2013 06:50 PM

MCALLEN - The former head of the Hidalgo County Crime Stoppers program admitted to his role in the Panama Unit corruption case. J.P. Flores is now waiting to learn his fate.

He's not alone. Flores is the seventh Rio Grande Valley lawman to say he was part of a web of corruption at the local and county levels of law enforcement.

The dominos started falling in mid-December. Investigators arrested an entire drug task force, known as the Panama Unit. The group was charged with ste… Click to Read More


6th Former Lawmen Pleads Guilty in Panama Unit Conspiracy Case

06/28/2013 10:50 AM

MCALLEN - Two more guilty pleas were entered in connection with the Panama Unit conspiracy case this morning.

Fabian Rodriguez, a former Hidalgo County sheriff's deputy, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine. He's the sixth former law enforcement officer who pleaded guilty in the case.
With this plea, Rodriguez admitted to working with Jonathan Trevino, Gerardo Duran, Salvador Arguello, Claudio Mata and Erica Alca… Click to Read More


Panama Unit Members Could Face Life in Prison

05/29/2013 04:11 PM

McALLEN - Five members of a former drug task force could face up to life in prison after pleading guilty to drug conspiracy charges.

A federal judge on Wednesday accepted the guilty pleas from five of the nine members of the former drug interdiction taskforce known as the Panama Unit.

The men face a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison.

The following defendants pleaded guilty to a drug conspiracy charge:

Jonathan Trevino
Salvador ArguelloClick to Read More


5 Defendants in Panama Unit Case Reach Plea Agreement

05/29/2013 09:00 AM

MCALLEN - Five of the defendants in the Panama Unit drug conspiracy case have reached a plea agreement. The following defendants pleaded guilty to a drug conspiracy charge:

  • Jonathan Trevino
  • Salvador Arguello
  • Claudio Mata
  • Eric Alcantar

The drug conspiracy charge was part of the second superseding indictment against the group. As part of the plea agreement, in exchange for pleading guilty to one count of drug conspiracy, the defendant… Click to Read More


9 Defendants in Panama Unit Case Headed Back to Court

05/29/2013 07:03 AM

MCALLEN - Nine of the 12 suspects in a drug conspiracy are scheduled to appear in court today. The case involves the now-defunct drug task force known as the Panama Unit.

Six of the suspects returning to court today are former Hidalgo County sheriff's deputies. Three others are suspected drug traffickers.

According to court documents, the defendants are scheduled for a re-arraignment. This means they could face new charges, ask for a continuance or even change their not guilty… Click to Read More


Suspect in Panama Unit Case Granted Bond

05/01/2013 12:01 PM

MCALLEN - A man accused of bribing several Hidalgo County lawmen will soon be out of jail. Fernando Guerra Jr., along with his father, is facing charges for allegedly paying the lawmen to protect and steal drug loads.

The father and son were named with 10 other people in the Panama Unit corruption case. Panama Unit is a now-defunct drug task force that consisted of members of the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office and the Mission Police Department.

The younger Guerra is one of th… Click to Read More


Ex-Deputy Accused in Drug Conspiracy Out on Bond

04/05/2013 12:14 PM

MCALLEN - A judge granted bond to a retired Hidalgo County sheriff's deputy accused in a drug conspiracy. Jorge Garza will be released as long as he meets certain requirements. They include:

  • paying five percent of a $100,000 bond,
  • remaining at his home when not at work or a legitimate outing, such as a religious events and
  • paying for his GPS monitoring.

Prosecutors say Garza, along with fellow ex-sheriff's deputy JP Flores, accepted $10,000 … Click to Read More


Latest Panama Unit Defendant in Court

03/22/2013 11:41 AM

MCALLEN - A retired Hidalgo County sheriff's sergeant faced a judge today in connection with the Panama Unit drug conspiracy.

James Phil Flores remains in custody. He was formerly part of the sheriff department's Crime Stoppers program.

A newly released criminal complaint accuses Flores of using his position to rip off cocaine loads, then splitting the profits of drug sales with Fernando Guerra Sr.

Guerra is a known drug trafficker in Hidalgo County and is currently un… Click to Read More


Convicted Felon Named in Panama Unit Indictment

03/20/2013 12:05 PM

MCALLEN - A convicted felon was added to the list of defendants in the Panama Unit case. The Panama Unit is a now-defunct drug task force in Hidalgo County. Seven former members are accused of taking bribes and escorting drug loads.

Alvaro Dehoyos is the 10th defendant in the case. He appeared in court this morning. His attorney said Dehoyos is currently serving a 10-year prison term in San Antonio for an unrelated drug conviction.

Dehoyos pleaded not guilty to drug conspirac… Click to Read More


Ex-Deputies to Remain in Jail Until Bond Hearings

03/08/2013 11:04 AM

MCALLEN - The three latest suspects added to the Panama Unit case will be spending the weekend in jail.

Former Hidalgo County sheriff's deputies Salvador Arguello, Claudio Mata and Eric Alcantar all made an initial court appearance this morning. Arguello asked for the court to appoint an attorney because he couldn't afford one.

All three were ordered back in jail until their bond hearings, which are scheduled for Wednesday.

That's when a judge will decide whether or no… Click to Read More


Panama Unit Case Grows

03/06/2013 06:46 PM

McALLEN - A superseding indictment was handed down Wednesday in a case involving former Rio Grande Valley lawmen and alleged drug smugglers.

A grand jury indicted three more ex-Hidalgo County sheriff's deputies in connection with the now-disbanded Panama Unit drug taskforce case. Three others were also named in Wednesday's indictment. Fernando Guerra Sr., Fernando Guerra Jr. and Alvaro Gilberto DeHoyos are facing drug charges.

The Guerras were arrested after a series of raids … Click to Read More


More Charged in Connection with Panama Unit Case

03/06/2013 03:28 PM

MCALLEN - A grand jury handed down an indictment, which charges three more ex-Hidalgo County sheriff's deputies in connection with the Panama Unit case.

Salvador Joel Arguello, Claudio Alberto Mata, and Eric Michael Alcantar were charged with conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine, more than 1000 kilograms of marijuana and more than 500 grams of methamphetamine. The trio faces multiple counts of drug possession.

The charges are… Click to Read More


More Delays in Panama Unit Case

03/01/2013 12:03 PM

MCALLEN - More delays were announced in the trial for four ex-members of a drug taskforce unit.

Jonathan Trevino, Alexis Espinoza and Gerardo Duran walked out of court free on bond. The fourth defendant, Fabian Rodriguez, is behind bars, after a judge revoked his bond two weeks ago.

The four men are accused of assisting drug traffickers with the distribution of cocaine.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys expect another indictment to be handed down this month. They asked… Click to Read More


No Leniency for Former Panama Unit Member

02/14/2013 08:16 PM

McALLEN - A federal judge on Thursday said he will not make any exceptions for the members of the now-disbanded Panama Unit.

The judge revoked the bond for one of the four former lawmen arrested after an investigation into wrongdoing by members of the unit.

A grand jury indicted Jonathan Trevino, Alexis Rigoberto Espinoza, Fabian Rodriguez and Gerardo Mendoza-Duran on multiple drug charges.

Trevino, 28, Espinoza, 29, Rodriguez, 28, and Mendoza-Duran, 30, were charged i… Click to Read More


Mission Police Reacts to Disbanding of Drug Task Force

01/07/2013 09:15 PM

MISSION - The disbanding of the embattled Panama Drug Unit will not hinder the Mission Police Department's ability to combat street-level drug sales, the city's police chief said.

Mission Police Chief Martin Garza said the unit was formed in partnership with the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Department to fight narcotic sales from Mission to Sullivan City.

Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino on Monday announced he was disbanding the unit. The decision comes in the wake of a federal… Click to Read More


Former Deputy's Preliminary Hearing Delayed

12/18/2012 11:55 AM

MCALLEN - A preliminary hearing was pushed back for an ex-deputy accused of accepting cash in exchange for drug protection.

Gerardo Duran is a former Hidalgo County sheriff's deputy, who was part of a county drug task force. He and three others in the task force were charged in a drug conspiracy case.

Duran appeared before a federal judge this morning. The judge delayed the hearing while the courts work to appoint a new lawyer for Duran. His first court-appointed lawyer said h… Click to Read More


2 Ex-Officers to be Released on Bond

12/17/2012 12:04 PM

MCALLEN - Two former law enforcement officers accused of taking bribes are set to be released on bond today.

A total of four men are accused of providing escorts for drug loads in exchange for money. The suspects were members of the Hidalgo County drug task force called the Panama Unit.

Ex-Mission officer Jonathan Trevino waived his preliminary hearing. He met the judge's conditions for posting bond and will be placed on house arrest until he's due back in court.

Alexi… Click to Read More


Sheriff: 5 Deputies Who Resigned Part of Investigation

12/17/2012 08:55 AM

EDINBUG - Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino said he's asked for and received the resignation of five deputies. The deputies were part of a drug task force known as the Panama Unit.

The sheriff said the five deputies who resigned are part of an investigation that has already led to the arrest of four other Panama Unit members.

Last week, federal investigators arrested Mission police officers Jonathan Trevino and Alexis Rigoberto Espinoza and deputies Fabian Rodriguez and Gera… Click to Read More


Cameron County Deputies Assisted in Investigation of Drug Escorts

12/14/2012 09:31 PM

BROWNSVILLE - Cameron County sheriff's deputies participated in the investigation that netted four allegedly corrupt Rio Grande Valley lawmen.

Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio said the allegations of wrongdoing are a black eye for the local law enforcement community.

"We need to get rid of people who have violated the law and violated the trust of the public," Lucio said.

Lucio said some of his deputies assisted the feds in the investigation, although he admitted he h… Click to Read More


Records Reveal Details of Alleged Drug Escort Scheme

12/14/2012 06:42 PM

McALLEN - Federal records reveal how four former lawmen allegedly escorted drug loads throughout the Rio Grande Valley.

Federal agents organized operations to gather evidence against the four suspects.

Alexis Espinoza, Jonathan Trevino, Fabian Rodriguez and Gerardo Duran were arrested Wednesday on drug conspiracy charges.

Espinosa and Trevino were fired from the Mission Police Department on Thursday. Rodriguez and Duran resigned from their posts as deputies with the Hi… Click to Read More


Sheriff Shows Support for Arrested Son

12/14/2012 06:38 PM

McALLEN - Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino was in court Friday, but this time as a spectator.

Trevino entered a federal court in McAllen to see his son be charged in a federal drug case.

The sheriff's son, Jonathan Trevino, and three other former lawmen have been charged in a scheme to protect and escort cocaine loads in exchange for money.

Trevino, Alexis Espinoza, Fabian Rodriguez and Gerardo Duran were arrested Wednesday on drug conspiracy charges.

Espino… Click to Read More


5 Hidalgo County Deputies Asked to Resign

12/14/2012 04:33 PM

EDINBURG - Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino asked for the resignation of five deputies in the wake of a federal investigation.

The five deputies resigned during the past 48 hours.

Trevino said the deputies were part of the Panama Unit anti-drug task force.

Two of the unit's members were arrested this week on drug charges.

Fabian Rodriguez and Gerardo Duran, along with former Mission police officers Alexis Espinoza and Jonathan Trevino were arrested Wednesday… Click to Read More


State Agency Releases Records of Arrested Lawmen

12/14/2012 04:26 PM

McALLLEN - The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education on Friday released its records of four Rio Grande Valley lawmen implicated in a federal drug investigation.

Alexis Espinoza, Jonathan Trevino, Fabian Rodriguez and Gerardo Duran were arrested Wednesday on drug conspiracy charges.

Espinosa and Trevino were fired from the Mission Police Department on Thursday. Rodriguez and Duran resigned from their posts as deputies with the Hidalgo County Sherif… Click to Read More


Lawmen to Spend Weekend in Jail on Drug Charges

12/14/2012 03:41 PM

McALLEN - Four Rio Grande Valley lawmen charged in a federal drug case will spend the weekend behind bars.

Alexis Espinoza, Jonathan Trevino, Fabian Rodriguez and Gerardo Duran were arrested Wednesday on drug conspiracy charges.

Espinosa and Trevino were fired from the Mission Police Department on Thursday. Rodriguez and Duran are deputies with the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Department.

Trevino is the son of Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino. Espinoza is the son of Hid… Click to Read More


Officers Charged in Drug Conspiracy Face Judge

12/14/2012 12:13 PM

MCALLEN - Three men, who worked as part of a drug task force, appeared before a judge this morning.

Jonathan Trevino, Fabian Rodriguez and Gerardo Duran are accused of providing protective escorts for drug loads. A judge set a $100,000 bond for each of the men. They must also meet certain conditions that include surrendering their passports, staying in the southern district of Texas, finding work that isn't related to law enforcement and refraining from contact with each other. They m… Click to Read More


Hidalgo DA to Review Cases in Wake of Lawmen's Arrests

12/13/2012 07:00 PM

EDINBURG - Hidalgo County District Attorney Rene Guerra has ordered a review of all drug cases involving four lawmen charged in a federal drug conspiracy case.

Guerra asked the Mission Police Department and the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Department for all the cases and names of the people the arrested lawmen took into custody.

Alexis Espinoza, Jonathan Trevino, Fabian Rodriguez and Gerardo Duran are facing drug conspiracy charges.

Espinosa and Trevino were fired from th… Click to Read More


Hidalgo Police Chief Supports Feds After Son's Arrest

12/13/2012 06:51 PM

HIDALGO - Hidalgo Police Chief Rudy Espinoza said he fully supports federal agents after they arrested his son and three other local lawmen on drug conspiracy charges.

The chief's son, Alexis Espinoza, and Jonathan Trevino, Fabian Rodriguez and Gerardo Duran are accused of being part of a scheme to protect drug loads in exchange for money. The four men were taken into federal custody.

Espinosa and Trevino were fired from the Mission Police Department on Thursday. Rodriguez and… Click to Read More


Lupe Trevino Speaks About His Son's Arrest

12/13/2012 06:43 PM

EDINBURG - Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino spoke about his son's arrest on drug conspiracy charges.

The sheriff's son, Jonathan Trevino, and Alexis Espinoza, Fabian Rodriguez and Gerardo Duran were taken into federal custody for their alleged role in a scheme to protect drug loads in exchange for money.

Espinosa and Trevino were fired from the Mission Police Department on Thursday. Rodriguez and Duran are deputies with the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Department.

Espin… Click to Read More


Lawmen Implicated in Drug Case were Part of Special Unit

12/13/2012 04:47 PM

EDINBURG - Four Rio Grande Valley lawmen charged in a drug conspiracy case were members of a special drug team dubbed the Panama Unit.

Hidalgo County officials said the task force was created to target drug trafficking. The unit is comprised of Hidalgo County sheriff's deputies and Mission police officers.

Panama Unit members Alexis Espinoza, Jonathan Trevino, Fabian Rodriguez and Gerardo Duran were arrested on drug conspiracy charges.

Espinosa and Trevino were fired f… Click to Read More


Feds Say Lawmen Were Paid to Protect Drug Loads

12/13/2012 04:30 PM

McALLEN - Four Rio Grande Valley law enforcement officers were paid thousands of dollars to escort drug loads, federal officials said.

Alexis Espinoza, Jonathan Trevino, Fabian Rodriguez and Gerardo Duran were arrested on drug conspiracy charges.

Espinosa and Trevino were fired from the Mission Police Department on Thursday. Rodriguez and Duran are deputies with the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Department.

Trevino is the son of Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino. Espinoza… Click to Read More


2 Sheriff's Deputies, 2 Mission Officers Charged in Drug Conspiracy

12/13/2012 11:18 AM

MCALLEN - The U.S. Attorney General's Office announced two Hidalgo County sheriff's deputies and two Mission Police Department officers were charged in connection with a drug conspiracy. Alexis Espinoza was arrested last night and appeared before a judge this morning. No decision's been made yet about his bond.

A second criminal complaint was filed this morning and charged Jonathan Trevino, Fabian Rodriguez and Gerardo Duran in the case.

Trevino works with the Mission Police D… Click to Read More


2 Mission Police Officers Under Federal Investigation

12/13/2012 12:10 AM

MISSION - Mission Police Chief Martin Garza confirmed that two of his investigators are the subjects of a federal investigation.

Garza said he has launched an internal investigation resulting in the suspension of the two officers.

The chief said the officers are assigned to the department's special investigations unit. Garza said the police department is cooperating with FBI Agents.

Garza clarified that there was no FBI search of his department. He says they are merely… Click to Read More


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