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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas

Friday, June 28, 2013

Another Plea In Panama Unit Case

McALLEN, Texas – Another man has been convicted in relation to the investigation involving the now defunct Panama Unit, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Fabian Rodriguez, 28, of Edinburg, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and more than 500 grams of methamphetamine. 

Rodriguez was a former Hidalgo County Sheriff’s deputy who was a member of the former Panama Unit - a drug task force operated by the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office.

During 2011 and 2012, Rodriguez utilized his position as a law enforcement officer to traffic narcotics. Rodriguez admitted he used his law enforcement authority to steal narcotics which he and the others sold to local drug dealers.

Rodriguez faces a minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison along with a potential fine up to $10 million. Sentencing has been set for Sept. 10, 2013.

The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Homeland Security Investigations, FBI, Homeland Security Investigations - Office of Professional Responsibility and the Texas Department of Public Safety. Assistant United States Attorneys James Sturgis and Anibal Alaniz are prosecuting the case.

Updated April 30, 2015