Community reacts to Hidalgo County sheriff TMs testimony

Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino

Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino took the stand in federal court Friday in the trial of Jorge Garza, surrounding corruption of Hidalgo County deputies and the panama unit.

Some have described the defense attorney TMs line of questioning as unexpected.

Action 4 News asked members of the community their thoughts on the trial so far.

Sheriff Trevino was subpoenaed to take the stand and while testimony was expected to focus on former Hidalgo County Deputy Jorge Garza, the line of questioning seemed to shift focus away from the defendant and instead was on Trevino himself.

On Friday, Sheriff Trevino was heard leaving the courtroom wondering, "Who is on trial here?"

Defense attorney Lily Gutierrez questioned Trevino for hours about falsified timesheets, deputies campaigning on county time, and employees being forced to buy and sell re-election fundraising tickets from Trevino's campaign.

The sheriff denied those allegations as well as any knowledge of the Panama Unit TMs drug trafficking scandal.

Nevertheless, people in his county are talking about the trial and some are still shocked that something like this could happen in their own community.

It TMs shocking to begin with, just to hear that it TMs going on down here in the valley. I know we shouldn TMt be surprised, but unfortunately it TMs something that can happen. We have investigative units that can look into it and dig deeper and actually determine if people are guilty from any kind of crime that they TMve committed against the community and against the people in general who TMve elected them to those positions, one Hidalgo County resident said.

Others believe focusing on Trevino was the defense TMs strategy to take the spotlight off of Garza.

"I guess they are just doing anything they can to get him out of there"the thing is I like Sheriff Trevino, and [because] he wasn't aware of what was happening in his office, he needs to get out," Roberto Cornegal said.

Others who spoke to Action 4 News said they felt those questions posed to Trevino were irrelevant to the federal trial which revolves around panama unit drug trafficking scandal.

Trevino TMs testimony continues Monday when the trial reconvenes.