Treviño, a former Mission Police Officer working on the Panama Drug Task Force was sentenced to 17 years in prison by a federal judge.
By H. Nelson Goodson
May 1, 2014
McAllen, Texas – On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Randy Crane sentenced Jonathan Christian Treviño, 30, a former Mission Police Officer with the Panama Drug Task Force to 17 years in prison for his leadership role in the rogue task force unit that conspired to falsify investigation reports, provided protection to drug dealers, stole drugs from traffickers and resold them later for profit. Treviño is the son of former Hidalgo County Sheriff Guadalupe “Lupe” Treviño, 65, who was convicted of receiving money from a drug trafficker for his re-election bid and money laundering. Former Sheriff Treviño is facing up to 20 years in prison and $500,000 in fines.
Jonathan claimed in court on Wednesday that his father was not aware of his illegal activities while assigned to the Panama Unit. Judge Crane stated during sentencing, that greed to make easy money and corruption led to their convictions.
Maria Patricia Medina, 40, former Sheriff Treviño’s chief of staff and campaign treasurer pleaded guilty for helping to launder money, falsifying campaign contributions in Treviño’s 2012 re-election bid records and failing to report González cash contribution of $5,000 to authorities. She is facing up to three years in prison and $250,000 in fines.
Jonathan and other law enforcement officers in the Panama Unit were convicted for conspiring with drug dealers, both Fernando Guerra Sr. and his son Fernando Guerra Jr. to steal drug loads of marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamines from rival competitors, then selling them and splitting the profits between January 2009 to December 2012.
Also sentenced were, Eric Alcantar, a former Hidalgo County Sheriff Deputy. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and four years probation. Salvador Arguello, a former Hidalgo County Sheriff Deputy was sentenced to 12 years in prison. Alexis Rigoberto Espinoza, a former Mission Police Officer was sentenced to 14 years in prison. Espinoza is the son of the Mission police chief and is credited for providing information that led to other law enforcement officers to be charged as well during the federal investigation.
Fabian Rodríguez, a former Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Deputy was sentenced to 13 years in prison. Fernando Guerra Sr., a drug trafficker was sentenced to 15 years in prison and his son Fernando Guerra Jr. was sentenced to 8 years in prison. James Perez Flores received 10 years in prison. Flores was the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Crime Stoppers program head involved with members of the now defunct Panama Unit.
Gerardo Mendoza Duran, a former Hidalgo Sheriff Deputy was sentenced to 8 years in prison. Claudio Mata, a former Hidalgo Sheriff Deputy was sentenced to 11 years and 8 months in prison, according to court records.
Update: In June, former Hidalgo County Sheriff Guadalupe “Lupe” Treviño was sentenced to 5 years in prison.
Jonathan Christian Treviño and Guadalupe “Lupe” Treviño