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The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

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April 14, 2014 - 9:55 am

Former Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino (D) — he stepped down a couple of weeks ago — has pleaded guilty today to federal charges of money laundering, according to the McAllen Monitor.

Just 17 days after stepping down as sheriff and three days after his former chief of staff entered a related plea, Treviño stood before U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez and pleaded guilty for his part in laundering campaign contributions that were tied to a convicted drug trafficker.

Testimony in court this morning suggested that the amount of money laundered could be anywhere between $70,000 and $120,000.

Treviño was composed as he entered his guilty plea. After the hearing with Judge Alvarez, Treviño appeared before US Magistrate Peter Ornsby, who set the former sheriff’s bond at $30,000 unsecured, which means that Treviño could bond out with a simple signature.

Trevino presided over a sheriff’s department that has been accused of a wide range of corruption. As the PJ Tatler and PJTV reported in 2012, the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s department falsified crime statistics to serve both Trevino’s and the Obama administration’s political interests. In an exclusive hidden-camera video, a crime analyst with the Hidaldo County Sheriff’s Department admitted that she and others within the department including Trevino himself change the way in which crimes are classified in order to improve the overall statistics.

Deputy: Hey what’s up? (unintelligible question)

Analyst: No, I can do it for you.

Deputy: Cool. (unintelligible, but he asks about changing a code)

Analyst: Huh?

Deputy: (unintelligible)

Analyst: I guess. Cause he’s the one changing everything.

Deputy: Changing the stats?

Analyst: (nods) He’s the one…

Deputy: Well how is he changing them?

Analyst: He reads the reports and fiddles with you if it’s not linking. Like, with a robbery, he redrizzles it down to a simple, like an, if it’s like uh, aggravated assault (looks away to see if anyone can hear), he orders a downgrade to assault. Or if…

Deputy: It’s real simple to do because most people are gonna, think you’re gonna have more.

(Analyst tilts head skeptically)

Deputy: You can justify it both ways.

Analyst:  Yeah, but some of them, no. (crosstalk) Like, as far as the standards go, from the UCR, yeah.

Deputy: So. You can get in trouble.

Analyst: Hm?

Deputy: You can get in trouble?

Analyst: Not us, but…yeah the sheriff.

Deputy: Him (points in the direction of the sheriff’s office).

Analyst: Yeah. Not me.

The department’s anti-narcotics Panama Unit, in which Trevino’s son was an officer, has been the subject of half a dozen indictments. Ten of its officers, including Jonathan Trevino, have been charged with a range of crimes including stealing drugs with intent to distribute them.

Trevino’s department remains accused not only of falsifying crime statistics to attract and hold federal COPS grants, but also of pressuring deputies into supporting him politically or face losing their jobs.

Trevino has been Hidalgo County Sheriff since 2005. He now faces the possibility of 20 years in prison and fines.

Hidalgo County is one of the most important counties along the US-Mexico border. Its county seat, McAllen, is one of the nation’s fastest-growing cities. It also has the most border crossing points of any county along the Texas-Mexico border. Across the border from McAllen is Reynosa, which has been among Mexico’s most violence-plagued cities in that country’s drug war.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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Top Rated Comments   
The Rio Grande Valley has one-party Democrat government like most cities. It's harder for Republicans to be corrupt because they almost always have both opposition and voters who pay some attention to news of corruption.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't think people appreciate just how infiltrated our law enforcement is with Mexican cartels, and as a consequence, al Qaeda.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
All the while ignoring the violence Trevino helped perpetuate.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (17)
All Comments   (17)
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I smell the pungent odor of weasel and skunk in the works: A Holder/Obama pardon.

Keep an eye on this one.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
I guess for those guys who grew up on the border it is no big deal working with the Cartel. It would scare the crap out of be to dance with that particular devil.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
I moved to the Rio Grand Valley in the winter of 1997. The following spring a Mexican ex-police officer was gunned down in front of his attorney's office on the main drag of McAllen. We left the valley in 2011 and in those 14 years the escalation of violence was a marvel. The graph would have shot straight up off the paper it was plotted on.
In those 14 years EVERY COUNTY from Brownsville (Cameron County) to Laredo and beyond had their sheriffs convicted of either drug trafficking, money laundering or assisting drug traffickers by escorting them through the area. Countless, and I mean countless, police officers, deputies and Customs and Border Patrol agents have been arrested for these crimes.
Add to that the cartel members that live openly on the US side and travel back and forth across the border and you have a troubling situation. But Wait! There's more. There are thousands upon thousands of illegal aliens living as openly as they please in the valley. It was time to go. Kidnappings? yes. Carjackings? yes. Murders in shopping mall parking lots? please. These are small potatos.
There will come a time when the Mexicans start massing on the border by the thousands and there will be no way to stop them when they start coming across. Even if there were a will to do so and of course, there isn't.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
A slight glimmer of hope here. There are plenty more Democrat Sheriffs that are arms of the Cartels. My local one is certainly laughing - $120k probably doesn't even come up to the annual "cash flow" of his operation. (Besides sending out the SWAT teams to "take care of business" on any dealer that is foolish enough to forget their cut to the Cartel.)
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Having recently moved to Hidalgo County as a Winter Texan, I'm seeing first hand the stranglehold Democrats have on political offices in this county. A lot of those guys are related so the corruption runs deep in some families. Thank you Bryan for keeping us informed.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't think people appreciate just how infiltrated our law enforcement is with Mexican cartels, and as a consequence, al Qaeda.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's much simpler to traffic drugs and humans when you have control of the law enforcement departments in charge of investigating you..... I think they call it the Chicago model?
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
strange but this seems to be less harsh than the conservative film maker who allegedly bundled some donations. Guess having a "d" after your name gives new meaning to lady justice being blind.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
What in the Hell makes anyone think Holder will allow a prosecution to proceed against Trevino? Now De Zousa, he's an enemy of the Regime and may get 10 years.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Trevino faces 20 years in prison. If D'Souza's convicted, he'll face far, far less.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
True enough. Yet I expect that if both men experience a worst case scenario where each is convicted of every possible offence and sentenced to the longest possible for them, Dinesh D'Sousa will still be the poster boy for Republican corruption while Trevino will be ignored by the lapdog media.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
All the while ignoring the violence Trevino helped perpetuate.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
I can't understand why being squeaky clean isn't emphasized to those who enforce Federal laws. Another sheriff , in a county slightly removed from the border was revealed to have a tacky past. The guy was reelected as sheriff in spite of this although he withdrew from his congressional run.
Apparently the west is a good place to reinvent oneself.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Rio Grande Valley has one-party Democrat government like most cities. It's harder for Republicans to be corrupt because they almost always have both opposition and voters who pay some attention to news of corruption.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Finally, some justice for those people.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
He hasn't been convicted yet.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
A guilty plea is the same as a conviction.

32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
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