Panama Unit sentencing, family turned away
POSTED: Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - 4:22pm
UPDATED: Friday, May 2, 2014 - 2:30pm
MCALLEN, TX (KVEO NEWSCENTER 23) — Members of the notorious Panama Unit are awaiting their fate after sentencing began Tuesday.
Members of the Panama Unit used their position as law enforcement to steal drugs. They seized the drugs from traffickers and resold them for personal profit.
Fernando Guerra junior will spend eight years in prison. Jorge Garza provided support during some of the illegal seizures and will get ten years in prison.
Also sentenced was J-P Flores. He also got ten years. Claudio Mata got more than 11 years, and Gerardo Mendoza-Duran was sentenced to eight years.
Eleven of the dozen members were scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday.
They include Jonathan Treviño, the son of former Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Treviño; and Alexis Espinoza son of Hidalgo Police Chief Rudy Espinoza.
Sentencing will continue Wednesday.
Seats are hard to come by for the sentencing of the Panama Unit.
Many family members hoping to see loved ones in court were turned away Tuesday morning. With 11 members of the unit set for sentencing, Judge Randy Crane's courtroom was full of reporters and on-lookers.
Many were upset and yelling at U.S. Marshalls and court security when they couldn't get in.
Seats were at a premium and some who left to use the bathroom during the day returned to see their seat taken.