Posted: Dec 14, 2012 6:38 PM
Updated: Dec 17, 2012 9:03 AM
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.
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 Sheriff's Department.
Espinoza is the son of Hidalgo Police Chief Rudy Espinoza.
The judge set bond for the younger Trevino, Rodriguez and Duran at $100,000.
"He is my son and I'm going to support him. But he will be held accountable for his actions, if they're proven to be righteous," the Sheriff said.
"I'm not aware of there being actual cocaine. This may have been a sting operation ... that's what it appears to be," Al Alvarez said. He is Espinoza's attorney.
Federal agents said Espinoza confessed to helping traffickers push their loads across the Rio Grande Valley. He said the smugglers paid him.
"In terms of the amount of drugs we're talking about, it's not that big," Alvarez said.
"They have family members ... in my case a father who is the chief of police in Hidalgo. That's the only thing that makes this a big case," Alvarez said.
Trevino said his son would stay with him if released on bond. The sheriff said he already met some of the judge's conditions for bond. The county's top lawman said he submitted a diagram of his house and 10 percent of the bond.
The judge ordered the accused to turn in their firearms and passports. They also must get jobs in fields other than law enforcement and they must wear GPS devices.