We’ve all heard of black market drug dealers, there’s even a black market for cheese, but this is probably the first fajita dealer you will have heard of.
A man has been sentenced to 50 years in prison in Texas after pleading guilty to stealing $1.2 million (£974k) worth of fajitas.
53-year-old Gilberto Escamilla, who worked at the Cameron County Juvenile Justice Department, was arrested in August after a driver from Labatt Food Service in Harlingen called the department’s kitchen and said he was delivering an 800-pound order of fajitas
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The kitchen employee told the driver that the juvenile department does not serve fajitas but the driver told her that he had been delivering fajitas to the facility for the past nine years.
Escamilla was fired from his job and arrested the next day, and when officers searched his home, they found packages of the stolen food in his refrigerator.
Officials said he took $1,251,578 worth of fajita orders and delivered them to his own customers
According to the Brownsville Herald, while testifying in court, Escamilla said:
I feel horrible. I wish I could take this back. It was selfish.
It was selfish. It started small and got bigger and out of control.
It got to the point where I couldn’t control it anymore.
Cameron County Assistant District Attorney Peter Gilman said in all of his years prosecuting theft cases he has never handled one like this, which amounted to around $1,251,578.
That figure does not include the brisket, pork chops, sausage and various types of chicken Escamilla also admitted to stealing, court testimony revealed.
Gilman asked State District Judge J. Manuel Bañales to sentence Escamilla to 50 years to send a message that theft by public servants will result in a long prison sentence.
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We feel a strong message should be sent.
While Escamilla’s attorneys asked Bañales to consider probation or at most five years in prison, adding that the man should be given a chance to repay the stolen taxpayer funds.
Escamilla was given a few moments to say goodbye to his family before he was taken away to begin serving his sentence.
That’s one costly Tex Mex appetite.