DA's office reviewing cases of officers jailed in Panama Unit scandal
Sat, 15 Dec 2012 04:45:30 GMT —
The arrests of four law enforcement officers here in Hidalgo County will keep authorities busy over the holidays. They're reviewing their case files looking for any signs of corruption. Hidalgo County District Attorney Rene Guerra has no sympathy for cops who find themselves on the other side of the law. "We don't want dirty cops or dirty officers on the streets enforcing the law... I'm sorry," Guerra said. Just earlier this week, federal agents arrested four local law enforcement officers on drug charges. Mission police officers Jonathan Trevino and Alexis Espinoza as well as Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office Deputies Fabian Rodriguez and Gerardo Trevino are all The four men made up the Panama Unit, a drug task force created to fight street-level dealing in the City of Mission and Hidalgo County. But the feds allege that they abused their badge to make money escorting drug loads. Guerra told Action 4 News his office is waiting for the Mission Police Department to send over their cases files. They're looking to see if there are any more improprieties. "I dont' think we have that many arrests from Trevino or Espinoza or the other deputies," Guerra said. "I don't know how effect the Panama Unit was but certainly we'e waiting for the information to be reported to us so we can start an immediate review of our cases." Guerra says some of their cases are getting moved to the front of the line. "I'm doing an immediate review on forfeiture cases where money was intercepted and he filed for forfeiture," he said. "We may look at it and see whether or not they were proper cases and whether or not all the money was turned in." Trevino is the son of Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino. While Espinoza is the son of Hidalgo Police Chief Rudy Espinoza. A federal sting opeation took them and the others down. But Guerra is asking the public the report any instances of police or public corruption to authorities. "Report it... it's a crime," Guerra said. "If somebody's soliciting bribes, people should record it and report it to the proper law enforcement agency."
The jailed officers and deputies were all issued $100,000 dollar bonds but remain in custody at this time. They're all expected back in McAllen's federal court early next week.