“We feel a strong message should be sent”
Gilberto Escamilla was sentenced to 50 years in the slammer for stealing more than $1.2 million in fajitas.
Escamilla pled guilty to theft by a public servant.
Escamilla was arrested last year when a truck driver called the Darrel B. Hester Juvenile Detention Center in Harlingen, Texas (where Escamilla worked) alerting employees their 800-pound order of fajitas had arrived, reports the Brownsville Herald. The detention center made no such order.
Food would be delivered, intercepted by Escamilla, who then took his hot goods to sell elsewhere.
From The Herald:
A former Cameron County juvenile detention center employee convicted of stealing more than $1.2 million worth of fajitas was sentenced Friday to 50 years in prison. Gilberto Escamilla, 53, pleaded guilty Friday morning to theft by a public servant.
After the sentence, visiting State District Judge J. Manuel Banales dismissed the first count of theft in the indictment as part of a cold plea.
“It was selfish. It started small and got bigger and out of control,” Escamilla said while testifying. “It got to the point where I couldn’t control it anymore.”
The DA asked the judge for a hefty sentence to send a message to other public servants that crime doesn’t pay (unless you get caught, it would seem):
Cameron County Assistant District Attorney Peter Gilman said in all of his years prosecuting theft cases he has never handled one like this, which amounted to around $1,251,578.
Gilman asked Banales to sentence Escamilla to 50 years to send a message that theft by public servants will result in a long prison sentence.
“We feel a strong message should be sent,” Gilman said.
Escamilla was allowed a brief moment to say goodbye to his family before being escorted away to begin his sentence.
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