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      Two more guilty pleas in Panama Unit scandal

      A former Hidalgo County deputy and a drug trafficker are the latest people to plead guilty to their roles in the Panama Unit scandal.

      Both former deputy Fabian Rodriguez and drug trafficker Alvaro Gilberto DeHoyos appeared before U.S. District Court Judge Randy Crane in McAllen on Friday morning.

      The two appeared with five others for a hearing about the case but entered guilty pleas.

      Now with the guilty pleas by Rodriguez and DeHoyos , a total seven out of the 12 suspects in the case have pleaded guilty.

      Among those who previously pleaded guilty are Jonathan Trevio, son of Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevio.

      Accused drug traffickers Fernando Guerra, Sr. and Fernando Guerra, Jr. are expected to plead guilty but are sorting out forfeiture issues before they do.

      The Panama Unit was set up to combat street-level drug dealers in Hidalgo County but its members used their authority to work with drug traffickers.

      According to court records, the only remaining suspects that have not pleaded gulty are former law enforcement officials Alexis Espinoza, James Phil Flores and Jorge Garza.

      Sentencing dates for Rodriguez and DeHoyos were not immediately available but Trevio and the others are expected to sentenced on September 10th.