July 24, 2013
Contact: Wendell Campbell
Phone Number: (713) 693-3000
Another Plea In Panama Unit Case
Espinoza, of McAllen, admitted that during 2012, he utilized his position as a law enforcement officer to traffic narcotics. Espinoza, a former officer with the Mission Police (MPD), along with other MPD officers and deputies of the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office, used his law enforcement authority to steal narcotics which were then sold to local drug dealers.
U.S. District Judge Randy Crane, who accepted the guilty plea, has set sentencing for Sept. 10, 2013, at which time he faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison, along with a potential fine up to $10 million. Espinoza was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, FBI, Homeland Security Investigations - Office of Professional Responsibility and Texas Department of Public Safety. Assistant United States Attorneys James Sturgis and Anibal Alaniz are prosecuting the case.