Panama Unit Drug Trafficker Granted Early Release

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MCALLEN – A drug trafficker who worked with the Panama Unit is set to be released early from prison.

The Panama Unit was a special drug task force in Hidalgo County. It was created to keep drugs and its smugglers off the streets. Instead, its members pushed the drugs through and out of the Rio Grande Valley.

Twelve men were ultimately convicted and sentenced to prison for their roles in the operation.

Nine took an oath to serve and protect. Jonathan Trevino, son of former Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino and then officer with the Mission Police Department, was involved.

Alexis Espinoza was also an officer with Mission Police. Salvador Arguello, Claudio Mata, Eric Alcantar, JP Flores and Jorge Garza, who were all members of the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office, were also convicted.

The former lawmen worked with three drug traffickers to steal drug loads from smugglers, sell the loads and split the profits between themselves.

Alvaro DeHoyos, Fernando Guerra, Sr. and his son Fernando Guerra, Jr. were the traffickers.

Guerra, Jr. was sentenced to time served in a federal court on Thursday. He served a little more than three years of his eight-year prison sentence.

A release date for Guerra, Jr. hasn't been set yet. Once he gets out, he will have to be on supervised release for three years.

Fernando Guerra, Sr. Is set to be release in 2026.

Release dates for the men who tainted their badge are set to start in 2022 with the last to be released in 2029.


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