Former HCSO commander pleads guilty

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POSTED: Thursday, April 17, 2014 - 5:25pm

UPDATED: Friday, April 18, 2014 - 10:08am

Former Hidalgo County Sheriff's office Commander Jose Padilla pleaded guilty in federal court on Thursday. 

He changed his plea for what he hopes is a lighter sentence.  It comes just three days after his former boss, ex-sheriff Lupe Treviño, pleaded guilty himself.  

Padilla changed his plea to guilty on one count of bribery.  In exchange, he will likely have his other charge of money laundering dismissed.  

Padilla had his crimes outlined in court.  Over a two year period - 2011 and 2012 - Padilla was paid thousands of dollars by suspected drug trafficker Tomas "El Gallo" Gonzalez. In exchange, Padilla gave El Gallo warrant information, vehicle registration records and other privileged information for El Gallo to use to support his alleged drug operations.  

Padilla faces up to 10 years in federal prison, but will likely have his sentence reduced.  The sentencing hearing has been scheduled for July 17.  That's the same day Treviño will be sentenced.  

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