Breitbart Texas has been closely following the case of Lupe Trevino, the former sheriff of Hidalgo County in south Texas who pled guilty to money laundering on April 14. Trevino, with the help of his Chief of Staff Maria Patricia Medina, attempted to cover up campaign contributions paid in cash by a convicted drug trafficker, 37-year-old Tomas Reyes Gonzalez. On April 24, Gonzalez pled guilty to possessing drugs with the attempt to distribute them and conspiracy to launder money.
Reyes Gonzalez allegedly directed a large drug trafficking ring in the Rio Grande Valley area between 2007 and 2013, according to the Associated Press.
Trevino’s campaign is accused of accepting between $70,000 and $120,000 in cash from Reyes Gonzalez and subsequently attempted to hide the money trail. A criminal complaint obtained by Breitbart Texas claimed that Trevino “knew that the property or currency involved represented the proceeds of some form of unlawful activity.”
Sylvia Longmire, Breitbart Texas Contributing Editor, said of the case, “In a place like south Texas that is economically disadvantaged in many areas, it’s increasingly difficult for some public officials to turn away from the large amounts of money involved in the drug business.”
Trevino’s department has allegedly been involved in gang activity since early 2013, when members of its drug task force, the Panama Unit, possessed and distributed various drugs. Trevino’s son, Jonathan Trevino, was a member of that unit.
Members of the Panama Unit were allegedly paid thousands of dollars by smugglers to protect their vehicles as they transported narcotics shipments, according to an indictment.
Only recently did Lupe Trevino admit he had knowledge of the Panama Unit’s scheme as it took place. Previously, however, the sheriff “maintained that he knew nothing about the actions of members of his agency, comparing himself to a person whose spouse was cheating on him – and saying he was the last to know about the criminal actions,” the McAllen Monitor reported.
Reports state that Reyes Gonzalez could face life in prison. His sentencing will be in July in McAllen, Texas.
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