TEXAS–Federal investigators and Texas Rangers executed a search warrant at the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office Monday in connection to a corruption investigation allegedly involving former Sheriff’s Office Commander Jose Padilla. Padilla was indicted in December 2013 on charges related to the alleged trafficking of marijuana and money laundering.
A local news outlet, The Monitor, reported that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations and the Texas Rangers served the search warrant together according to DEA spokesperson Lisa Johnson. She confirmed a computer was removed from the Sheriff’s Office Monday morning.
Breitbart Texas contacted Sheriff Lupe Treviño and the DEA office in Houston for further information. The Sheriff has not returned the call and Johnson stated that no further information was available at this time.
The San Antonio Express-News reported in December 2013 Cmdr. Padilla was fired by Sheriff Treviño after being indicted on the drug trafficking charges. At the time, Treviño stated, “There’s no sheriff, there’s no chief, no law enforcement CEO in the United States or the state of Texas who would tolerate or ignore something like this.” Treviño’s office has been under a wide-ranging federal investigation for corrupt American law enforcement officers on the Texas/Mexico border that allegedly took bribes from drug traffickers.
Addressing his officer’s actions, Treviño said, “Don’t judge my leadership on the actions of a few who decided that they want to take the easy route and opted to involve themselves in corrupt activities.”
However, it appears the charges hit pretty close to home for Sheriff Treviño. The Express-News reported that the Sheriff’s own son Jonathan Treviño, who worked for the Mission, Texas Police Department was among those indicted in the investigation involving the “Panama Unit,” an anti-narcotics task force operating under the auspices of the Mission PD and the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office.
When asked if he might be involved in the drug trafficking scheme Treviño responded, “In no way would Padilla or any member of my staff ever come up to me and say, ‘Sheriff, I’ve done some bad stuff and I want you to join me. Look at me any way you want, you will see there’s absolutely nothing.” That was December 27th. Today it appears federal and state agencies are doing just that as their investigation continues.
Follow Bob Price on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX