Drug trafficker named in Panama Unit scandal gets prison time

Alvaro Gilberto DeHoyos // File Photo

A drug trafficker named in the Panama Unit corruption scandal is now headed to federal prison.

Alvaro Gilberto DeHoyos appeared for sentencing before U.S. District Court Judge Randy Crane in McAllen on Thursday morning.

Judge Crane sentenced DeHoyos to seven and a half years in federal prison for drug trafficking.

DeHoyos pleaded guilty to his role in a scheme to smuggle marijuana and cocaine inside secret compartments built inside 18-wheelers owned by Panama Unit scandal suspect Fernando Guerra, Jr.

Defense attorney Ric Salinas said DeHoyos was never a direct participant in the Panama Unit scandal but only had a "paper thin" connection to Guerra.

Although DeHoyos admitted to being involved in the drug trade and was sentenced to 10 years for another federal drug case in San Antonio, prosecutors agreed that he had no real role in the Panama Unit scandal but remains named on the indictment.

Judge Crane ordered that the sentence for the Panama Unit case to run at the same time as the San Antonio case.

The other 11 people named in the Panama Unit scandal, including the son of Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevio are expected to be sentenced on April 29th.