Former Hidalgo County Sheriff Pleads Guilty
McALLEN, Texas - Guadalupe Trevino, aka Lupe Trevino, 64, of McAllen, has entered a guilty plea a criminal information charging him with conspiracy to commit money laundering, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Trevino was the former sheriff of Hidalgo County.
The investigation revealed that during 2011 and 2012, Trevino received cash contributions for his election campaign from alleged drug trafficker, Tomas “El Gallo” Gonzalez. Today, Trevino admitted he accepted the money, knowing it was from illegal activities. He admitted he accepted the monies directly and through others as donations to assist with his 2012 election campaign. Some of the monies received were subsequently deposited into bank accounts Trevino controlled and were comingled with other funds.
During and after the transactions, Trevino and others acted to disguise and conceal the nature, location, source, ownership and control of the currency by filing false Candidate/Officeholder Campaign Finance Reports and producing other documents.
U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez, accepted the plea today and has set sentencing for July 17, 2014. At that time, Trevino faces up to 20 years in federal prison and $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction.
On Friday, April 14, 2014, Trevino’s former chief of staff and campaign treasurer, Maria Patricia Medina, pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony, admitting she assisted Trevino in the concealment of the donations by falsifying election records. She faces up to three years in federal prison and a potential fine of $250,000.
The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations, Drug Enforcement Administration, Texas Department of Public Safety, Rangers Division and Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys James Sturgis and Anibal Alaniz prosecuted the case.