On August 7, 2017, an 800-pound delivery of fajita meat arrived at the Cameron County Juvenile Justice Department in San Benito. The problem? The Justice Department doesn’t serve fajitas. According to reports, the driver tasked with delivering the fajitas to the Juvenile Justice Department explained to a questioning employee that he had been supplying shipments of fajita meat to the location regularly for over nine years. Something was very wrong here.
After looking into the specifics of the bizarre shipment, the mystery of the great fajita heist pointed to one man — a Texas juvenile center employee named Gilberto Escamilla, who admitted to his self-serving crime. He had been charging the Justice Department for the meat, then reselling his cache for pure profit.
The Brownsville Herald has been on the story, and got the key quote from District Attorney Luis V. Saenz, who explained how the case was finally broken, like a soggy tortilla.
“The receiver of the call rushes off to the supervisor and conveys to her the discussion that had been had, and that breaks the case. When Mr. Escamilla reports to work the next day, he is confronted with the discussion and he admits he had been stealing fajitas for nine years.”
The size of the fajita orders varied, according to vouchers and receipts recovered by the DA, some orders were as small as $2,500, others upwards of $30,000. After nine years of orders were added up, they accumulated to approximately $1,251,578 worth of black market fajitas.
“He would literally, on the day he ordered them, deliver them to customers he had already lined up,” Saenz explained. Saying that two of the black market fajita customers were cooperating with authorities. It’s unknown if they knew that their delicious meals were being funded by Texas taxpayers, but Saenz is empathetic, even if he uses some questionable phrasing.
“It’s upsetting because the auditor gets a detailed invoice where it states the breakdown of what’s delivered, so they should’ve seen it. What do you tell the taxpayers? What do you tell the housewife and the blue collar worker that pay their county taxes, when paying their taxes takes a big bite out of their paycheck?”
One day, an enthralling true crime podcast will be made about the delicious case of the fajita thief.
(Via USA Today)