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Press Release

Another former federal detention center employee indicted for bribery

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

McALLEN, Texas – A 21-year-old resident of Weslaco and former employee of the East Hidalgo Detention Center has been taken into custody, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. 

A McAllen grand jury returned an indictment March 10 charging Amber Estrada. She is expected to make her initial appearance March 16 at 11:30 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate judge Peter E. Ormsby.

According to the charges, federal authorities discovered various forms of contraband approximately January 2019 in the East Hidalgo Detention Center, a correctional facility under contract with the U.S. Marshals Service. The indictment alleges Estrada accepted things of value in exchange for bringing contraband into the detention center while employed as a correctional officer.

She is no longer employed at the facility.

Six others have also been charged related to crimes committed while employed at the East Hidalgo Detention Center.   

If convicted, Estrada faces up to 15 years in federal prison as well as a possible $250,000 maximum fine.

The U.S. Marshals Service, Department of Justice - Office of Inspector General and FBI conducted the joint investigation. 

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patricia Cook Profit and Amy L. Greenbaum are prosecuting the case. 

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. 
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.

Updated March 13, 2020

Public Corruption