Not sure how I missed this one. See prior coverage from the Valley Morning Star.Last month, four lawmen — two Hidalgo County sheriff’s deputies and two Mission police officers — were arrested and accused of escorting loads of drugs in exchange for cash after a corruption investigation led by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the F.B.I. and other agencies. In court documents filed by federal investigators, the four men were accused of escorting vehicles carrying cocaine for $2,000 to $6,000 per trip.They were not ordinary patrolmen. Officials said they were part of a task force called the Panama Unit that was formed to fight drug trafficking in Hidalgo County, part of the South Texas border region known as the Rio Grande Valley. Each had been a licensed peace officer for five to seven years and had received specialized training in investigative techniques and firearms. The two Mission officers — Alexis R. Espinoza, 29, and Jonathan C. Trevino, 28 — had deep ties to local law enforcement. Mr. Espinoza is the son of the Hidalgo police chief and Mr. Trevino is the son of the Hidalgo County sheriff.“We’re a law-abiding family, and we’re devastated,” said the sheriff, Guadalupe Trevino. “If it can be proven he did wrong, by God, he’s going to pay his debt to society. But at the same time he’s my son, and I am going to support him. As a father I am going to support him. But I can promise you and promise everybody else that we’re going to do the right thing.”The four men were the latest in a long line of officers accused of escorting, stealing or distributing drug loads near the 1,254-mile border that Texas shares with Mexico. Since 2007, more than 40 police officers, sheriff’s deputies, Border Patrol agents and other law enforcement personnel have been arrested and accused of using their positions to profit from the drug trade along or near the border, from El Paso to the Rio Grande Valley.
Thursday, January 03, 2013
Drug corruption (allegedly) all in the law-enforcement family
The sons of a local police chief and the Hidalgo County sheriff were caught up in a sting targeting corrupt law enforcement officers, reported the New York Times yesterday ("In drug fight on Texas border, some officers work both sides," Jan 2):
Posted by Gritsforbreakfast at 4:57 PM