Former Sheriff Lupe Trevino sentenced to 5 years in prison

La Joya Police Chief Giovani Hernandez ran against Treviño during the Democratic Party Primaries in 2012

Former Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevio will spend the next five years in federal prison.

He is currently out on bond pending his prison assignment and has already filed an appeal to the sentence.

Sheriff Trevino qualified for 37 to 46 months in federal prison, but Judge Alvarez sentenced him to 60 months and he was fined $60,000.

The ex-sheriff appeared for sentencing before U.S. District Court Judge Micaela Alvarez in McAllen on Thursday morning.

"This is a very sad day for Hidalgo County today," Judge Alvarez said in court.

Judge Alvarez told the former sheriff, "You are contributing to the problem that we have in this community."

In court, the former sheriff apologized to his wife, his sons and to his law enforcement peers.

She said Trevino recieved money from drugtrafficker Tomas "El Gallo" Gonzalez, but Trevino denied it.

Trevio abruptly resigned from office in March and pleaded guilty back in April to a federal money laundering charge.

Testimony in another case revealed the cash came from Weslaco-based drug trafficker Tomas "El Gallo" Gonzalez.

Trevio requested to be assigned to the Pensacola Federal Prison Camp in Florida based on fears of retaliation by other criminals that he helped put away.

The federal prison camp in Pensacola is a low-security facility where former 404th State District Court Judge Abel Limas was sent following the Cameron County "Cash For Court Favors" scandal.

Judge Alvarez said she would allow the U.S. Bureau of Prisons determine his prison assignment and that they would take his safety as a concern.

Alvarez is allowing Trevio to remain free on bond until his prison assignment is made.

The sentence follows just three months after the former sheriff's son Jonathan Trevio was sentenced to 17 years in federal prison for his role in the Panama Unit corruption scandal.

Statement from Interim Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra, Jr:

I would like to say that I believe in the justice system and justice was served today during sentencing of former Sheriff Lupe Trevino. While there are still a couple more people awaiting adjudication, I believe that today TMs sentencing of former sheriff Lupe Trevino to 5 years for money laundering, closes a difficult chapter in our Sheriff Department TMs history.

We as elected officials promise to our community that by electing us, we will do the right thing for the right reasons. Hopefully today TMs sentencing brings closure for the community; allowing us all to move forward.

I want to assure you that the men and women of the Sheriff TMs Office under my leadership have rededicated themselves to serving our community with integrity and trust. We now need to focus on the future and our responsibility to serve and protect the public through leadership by example.

Time Line

November 2004Lupe Trevio first elected as Hidalgo County Sheriff

November 2008Lupe Trevio re-elected at Hidalgo County Sheriff

November 2012Lupe Trevio wins third term as Hidalgo County Sheriff

December 2012Jonathan Trevio and Alexis Espinoza arrested

January 2013Four indicted in Panama Unit scandal

March 2013Six more people charged in Panama Unit scandal

March 2013Deputy JP Flores charged in Panama Unit scandal

April 2013Deputy Jorge Garza charged in Panama Unit scandal

May 2013Jonathan Trevio and four others plead guilty in Panama Unit scandal

June 2013Two more plead guilty in Panama Unit scandal

July 2013Four more plead guilty in Panama Unit scandal

August 2013Deputy Jorge Garza found guilty in jury trial

August 2013Tomas "El Gallo" Gonzalez and several others indicted in separate drug trafficking case

September 2013Panama Unit sentencing postponed until October

October 2013Panama Unit sentencing postponed until December

December 2013Panama Unit sentencing postponed until February

December 2013Commander Joe Padilla arrested in connection to "El Gallo" drug trafficking case

February 2014Sentencing postponed until April for 11 of the Panama Unit suspects

February 2014Drug trafficker Alvaro Gilberto DeHoyos get 7.5 years in prison for role in Panama Unit scandal

March 2014Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office Chief of Staff Patricia Medina resigns

April 2014Pat Medina pleads guilty to knowing about the sheriff laundering money and not reporting it.

April 2014Sheriff Trevio pleads guilty to money laundering.

April 2014Jonathan Trevio gets 17 years in federal prison.