HIDALGO COUNTY - Four Hidalgo County law enforcement officers are charged in a drug escorting scandal. Two of the men, Alexis Espinoza and Jonathan Trevino, worked for the Mission Police Department. The other two, Fabian Rodriguez and Gerardo Mendoza-Duran, worked for the Hidalgo County Sheriff's Department.
The story broke late Wednesday evening, when media crowded outside the Mission Police Department. Mission Police Chief Martin Garza gave comment on what the federal agents needed for the case just before midnight.
"They were here to pick up different documents, different items of need for their investigation and we fully cooperated," said Chief Martin Garza, Mission Police.
A press release from the U.S.. District Court said these officers were involved in a drug task force unit called the Panama Unit. The investigation revealed that these four men "allegedly utilized their positions as law enforcement personnel to escort and protect loads of narcotics and were paid for their services."
After confirming Trevino and Espinoza's arrests, Chief Garza served both men with letters of indefinite suspension. Indefinite suspension is the civil service way of saying, the men were let go.
Newscenter 23 was unable to reach Sheriff Lupe Trevino to find out what is being done about Duran and Rodriguez.
Chief Garza said finding out this news was shocking. "But at the same time we are here to participate in the investigation. We are firm in the integrity of the police department. We are firm in the no tolerance of any type of police misconduct. And we are going to stand by the conclusion of the investigation," said Chief Garza.
The federal agencies investigating include the FBI, DEA, ICE-Office of Professional Responsibility, Homeland Security Investigations, Texas Rangers and Department of Justice-Office of the Inspector General.
Two of the suspects come from law enforcement families. Trevino is the son of Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino and Espinoza is the son of Hidalgo Police Chief Rudy Espinoza.
If you would like to see criminal complaints on these four men, please click the links below.
|Espinoza complaint.pdf ||99.6 KB|
|Trevino et al complaint.pdf ||179.19 KB|