This week, NPR examines public corruption in South Texas. The FBI has launched a task force to clean up entrenched misconduct by public officials in the Rio Grande Valley. In this installment of the series, we hear from a police officer who became a drug dealer.
In the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, where people are accustomed to seeing public officials led away in handcuffs, the case of the Panama Unit shocked everyone. The Valley’s celebrated anti-narcotics squad went to the dark side.
Jonathan Treviño had been a police officer for only three years when, at 24, he became commander of the newly created narcotics squad. Their charge was to arrest drug dealers who had infested the streets of the city of Mission, but eventually the unit’s territory expanded to all of Hidalgo County.
“We were getting well over 30 narcotics arrests a month. We were seizing thousands of dollars every month for the department,” Treviño remembers.
The original article can be found at www.npr.org