Posted: Dec 24, 2013 2:23 PM
Updated: Dec 24, 2013 2:23 PM
MCALLEN, Texas (AP) Federal authorities say they've arrested the second ranking officer of a South Texas sheriff's office on charges that include drug distribution.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Nina Pruneda says Hidalgo County sheriff's Commander Jose "Joe" Padilla was arrested early Tuesday on federal charges of money laundering and conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana.
Authorities say Padilla was linked to the embattled Panama Unit, the target of a broad federal investigation in which nine law enforcement officers have been convicted of conspiring with drug traffickers to steal drugs from rival gangs and resell the narcotics.
During the August trial of deputy Jorge Garza, Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino testified that he had no knowledge of wrongdoing even as his son was a member of the unit.