Last August, the Juvenile Justice Department in Cameron County, Texas received a peculiar phone call from Labatt Food Service, their regular food supplier. The Labatt delivery driver informed the Department kitchen that he was on his way with eight-hundred pounds of fajitas – something they have never served. When asked about why Labatt was delivering fajitas, when the Juvenile Justice Department does not serve them, the driver reported that he had been delivering fajitas to them for the past nine years.
According to the Brownsville Herald, Juvenile Justice employee Gilberto Escamilla admitted that he had been ordering packaged fajitas using Cameron County’s money and re-selling it for profit for nine years. Two days after his scheme was uncovered, the DA’s office obtained a search warrant and reported that Escamilla had stolen approximately $30,000 worth of fajitas. Escamilla was booked into state jail, and made bond. But upon further investigation, Labatt Food Service reported that Escamilla had purchased $1,251,578 worth of fajitas.
That’s a lot of sizzling meat.
On October 16, 2017, Escamilla was arrested and charged with first degree felony theft and theft by a public servant. The Brownsville Herald reported that Judge Banales dropped the first degree charge and sentenced Escamilla to fifty years in prison. The hearing, which took place Friday morning on April 20, was the first of its kind. District Attorney Peter Gilman reported to the Herald that in all of his years of prosecuting public servant theft, he had never seen anything like this.
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