Records: Former sheriff TMs commander expected to plead ~guilty TM
Tue, 04 Mar 2014 01:35:00 GMT —
A new twist in a drug trafficking and corruption case involving a man who was the number two in command at the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Office..Former Sheriff's Commander Joe Padilla is now expected to plead guilty for his alleged role in a drug trafficking scheme.
ICE agents arrested Padilla on Christmas Eve.
He's accused of working as part of a 12-person drug trafficking team.
The men were moving large loads of illegal drugs up north.
Padilla, who was number two in command, just below Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino was fired in the days after his arrest.
Padilla has been out on a $100,000 bond initially pleaded not guilty to the charges.
According to records following a Friday morning court appearance, they show he and the others in the case are expected to change their pleas to guilty.
The plea agreements all expected to take place between March 17th and 26th.
The case involving former commander Padilla is separate from the Panama Unit scandal including the son of Sheriff Trevino and 11 others who are all expected to be sentenced on April 29th.
Officers Jonathan Trevino and Alexis Espinoza were the first arrests in the Panama Unit scandal in December 2012.
A total of 12 suspects have been named since then, and all have been convicted.
Several men from the Weslaco area were indicted in a separate drug trafficking case in August.
Former commander Padilla added as a suspect to that case in December.