Four Texas officers guarded cocaine shipments

McALLEN, Texas — Three South Texas law enforcement officers, including the son of a county sheriff, are likely to spend the weekend in custody on charges accusing them and another officer of accepting thousands of dollars in bribes to guard shipments of cocaine.

US Magistrate Judge Dorina Ramos set bond at $100,000 Friday for Mission Police officer Jonathan Trevino, 29, and Hidalgo County sheriff’s deputies Fabian Rodriguez, 28, and Gerardo Duran, 30. The same bond was set a day earlier for their alleged coconspirator Mission Police officer Alexis Espinoza.

Ramos said it was unlikely that pretrial services could arrange for their release if any of the men posted bond before Monday.


Prosecutors say the four were members of a task force called the Panama Unit that fights drug trafficking. Instead of combatting the drug trade, prosecutors say the four provided protection for it.

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Trevino is the son of Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino. Espinoza is the son of Hidalgo Police Chief Rodolfo Espinoza.

Sheriff Lupe Trevino, dressed in a sport coat and jeans, sat in court with other family members Friday. After the hearing, federal agents who worked the case filed out of the first row of seats in the courtroom, stopping to shake hands with him.

‘‘It’s hard, those FBI agents are friends of mine,’’ the elder Trevino said, visibly emotional.

Associated Press