County Official Who Stole $1.2 Million in Fajitas Sentenced to 50 Years in Prison

A former employee of the Darrel B. Hester Juvenile Detention Center in San Benito, Texas has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for stealing $1.2 million in fajitas.

County News first covered the story last year. According to Cameron County court filings, Gilberto Escamilla, 53, used county funds to purchase the food, which he then resold at a profit. Escamilla was caught in August when one of his delivery trucks showed up with 800 pounds of meat while he was away from the job. The driver confirmed to officials that he had been making these deliveries for 9 years.

"It was selfish. It started small and got bigger and out of control," Escamilla admitted to the court. "It got to the point where I couldn't control it anymore."

Because Escamilla’s theft amounted to more than $200,000, it was considered a first degree felony which carries a sentence of up to 99 years in prison. In addition to the prison sentence, Escamilla must pay back the $1.2 million, plus a fine of $10,000.


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