DA investigator fired amid Panama Unit trial testimony

Charlie Vela fired

District Attorney Rene Guerra confirms DA investigator Charlie Vela has been fired.

The move comes after Vela plead the 5th in federal court today during the trial of former Hidalgo County sheriff TMs deputy Jorge Garza.

Action 4 News spoke with Guerra Thursday evening. He said firing Vela is like cutting a finger off.

Guerra said he developed a personal political relationship with Vela TMs mom who helped him win re-election in 1992.

Vela TMs name has been brought up several times during Garza's drug trafficking trial but he is not facing any charges.

Yesterday, Fernando Guerra Sr. took the stand and told jurors how he and others would fake traffic stops to steal drug loads.

Guerra Sr. said in his testimony that Vela played a role in the scheme.

Guerra tells Action 4 Vela is like a little brother to him, but after today he had no recourse but to let him go.

Vela worked in the hot check department of the DA TMs office and has been an investigator since 2009.