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Former South Texas police officer pleads guilty

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Posted: Jul 24, 2013 11:17 AM

Updated: Jul 24, 2013 11:18 AM

McALLEN, Texas (AP) A former South Texas police officer who allegedly conspired to steal drugs from smugglers and resell them to a drug trafficker has pleaded guilty to one drug conspiracy charge days before his trial was scheduled to begin.

Former Mission police officer Alexis Espinoza pleaded guilty in federal court in McAllen on Wednesday. Five other former law enforcement officers from that department and the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office pleaded guilty in May.

Most of the lawmen were members of the now disbanded Panama Unit, a joint task force targeting street-level drug dealing in Mission. The unit's members targeted drug dealers, but resold the drugs and even coordinated thefts for another drug trafficker who also has pleaded guilty.

Espinoza is the son of Hidalgo Police Chief Rodolfo "Rudy" Espinoza.

Topics: Officers-Corruption Probe

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