Drug Trafficker "El Gallo" Pleads Guilty
The indicted drug trafficker whose campaign donations helped bring down former Hidalgo County sheriff Lupe Trevino, has become the latest to admit to his part in the criminal scandal. Tomas "El Gallo" Gonzalez, in McAllen federal court Wednesday afternoon, pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy and money laundering charges. A federal investigation had linked Gonzalez to former sheriff's commander Jose Padilla, who was found to have solicited cash from Gonzalez -- money he turned over to Trevino's 2012 re-election campaign.
Padilla last week pleaded guilty to a charge of bribery. Days earlier, Trevino admitted to laundering the illegal cash. The 36-year-old Gonzalez owned T-and-F Produce in Weslaco, which prosecutors said was merely a front for his multi-state marijuana trafficking operation. A sentencing hearing for Gonzalez is set for July 17th, the same day Trevino and Padilla are to be sentenced.