BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) – A former South Texas juvenile justice department employee has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for felony theft after authorities say he acknowledged stealing $1.2 million worth of fajitas over nine years.
Cameron County District Attorney Luis Saenz tells The Brownsville Herald that Gilberto Escaramilla was fired in August 2017 and arrested after authorities obtained a search warrant and found packages of the Tex-Mex food in his refrigerator.
Investigators subsequently checked vendor invoices and determined he would intercept county-funded food deliveries and deliver them to his own customers.
The scheme imploded when he missed work one day in August for a medical appointment and a delivery driver showed up with 800 pounds of fajitas, but officials said the juvenile department didn’t serve fajitas.
The Assistant District Attorney handling the case said the sentence should send a message about theft to other public servants.