BROWNSVILLE, Texas – A former county employee in Texas was sentenced to 50 years in prison for stealing more than $1.2 million worth of fajita meat.
Gilberto Escaramilla plead guilty Friday to theft by a public servant.
“I feel horrible. I wish I could take this back. It was selfish,” 53-year-old Gilberto Escamilla said during his sentencing, reports the The Brownsville Herald.
Escaramilla was fired from his Cameron County Juvenile Justice Department job in August. He was arrested for felony theft after a search warrant turned up packages of county-funded fajitas inside his refrigerator, according to Cameron County District Attorney Luis Saenz.
Escaramilla has acknowledged stealing packages of the food for nine years. An audit of vendor invoices showed that he intercepted food deliveries being made to the department.
“He would literally, on the day he ordered them, deliver them to customers he already had lined up,” Saenz told The Brownsville Herald. “We’ve been able to uncover two of his purchasers, and they are cooperating with the investigation.”
How’d Escaramilla get caught after a nine-year run? He had a medical appointment missed a day of work in August, and a delivery driver called about the 800 pounds of fajitas he needed to deliver.
However, the Juvenile Department doesn’t serve Tex-Mex. A woman told the driver they don’t serve fajitas, but the driver insisted he’d been delivering them there for nine years.
Escaramilla showed up for work the next day, was confronted, and admitted what he’d been doing, according to investigators.
“If it wasn’t so serious, you’d think it was a Saturday Night Live skit,” Saenz said. “But this is the real thing.”