Five plea guilty in Panama Unit scandal
Wed, 29 May 2013 15:24:41 GMT —
Five law enforcement officers, members of the Panama Unit, pleaded guilty in federal court on Wednesday.
The task force members are accused of stealing drug loads from street dealers.
Seven men, accused of being involved in the drug scheme, appeared in court on Wednesday.
Jonathan Trevino, Salvador Joel Arguello, Claudio Alberto Mata and Eric Michael Alcantar all pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute.
Gerardo Mendoza-Duran pleaded guilty to attempting to aid and abet the possession with intent to distribute.
Accused drug traffickers, Fernando Guerra, Sr. and Fernando Guerra, Jr. have to get their assets in order before they can be formally charged.
According to authorities, the father and son will be back in court in one week after they see what can be forfeited.
Two others accused of being involved in the drug scheme, Fabian Rodriguez and Alvardo Gilberto DeHoyos, did not appear in court on Wednesday.
The son of Sheriff Lupe Trevino, Jonathan, and the eight others all pleaded "not guilty" at previous federal court hearings.
U.S. District Judge Randy Crane expects more people to plead guilty.
The sentencing date for the men has been set for September 10.
They all face a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison, along with a potential fine up to $10 million.
After the prison sentence, the men could be assigned a supervisor for a temporary period of time or for the rest of their lives.