Cocaine Addiction Information
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policeWhat was at once only a few ounces of weed here and there at the beginning, able to just get by invisibly, ended up turning into a quantity of drugs that started to grasp the attention of the FBI and DEA. They called themselves the Panama Unit, but were really a group of corrupt cops robbing and selling drugs at a shockingly expert level, of course until they get caught. The “Panama Unit” (named after a strain of weed called Panama Red) was the unofficial nickname of a group of police officers in Mission, Texas. Their string of crimes, eventually exposed, were shocking to the other officers. The head of this narcotics unit, and group of cop-turned-outlaws was Jonathon Trevino. Not only were his criminal actions a great dishonor on the border law enforcement unit, they were also quite a dishonor to his father Sheriff Lupe Trevino. So what happened to who was supposedly one of the best and hardest working narcotics investigators in Hidalgo County? How did corruption hit so close to home? And how far did they end up going in order to gather the attention of not only the FBI and DEA, but also the Homeland Security and the Texas Rangers. You can see how the Panama Unit’s actions were a direct blow to the border law enforcement’s reputation.

Dirty Dealings of the Panama Unit

It all started with, what to them seemed like an innocent and one-time thing, stealing $50,000 from a drunk driver they had pulled over in the middle of the night. It was right before the holidays in 2010. The fact that the Panama Unit were all buddies probably didn’t help things. In fact it probably helped lead them into this bonding situation over being privy to a little extra cash for the holidays. Yet this “one time thing” slowly and at first gradually, but eventually taking the nature of a snow ball effect, turned into Trevino ending up in a federal prison for the string of crimes that followed. When they graduated into drug theft, not long after making cash stealing a habit, they describe the experience as simple as just an omission of turning in the drugs they found from a legal search. To them, it probably didn’t seem that significant. A couple of bags of coke or weed, “once in a while”. They did, however, take necessary precautions to mark the drugs with evidence tags so as to not chance running into other cops with what looked like (because they were) stolen drugs. They sold to local dealers at first but over time, and as the Panama Unit evolved, they sought out a bigger connection due to the piling drugs they had hoarded.

You could see how the eventual outcome was a crime ridden group of young cop-friends making unintelligent decisions in those very dangerous parts of town they were supposed to be protecting. Not only was it cocaine they ended up dealing in large quantities, but meth and weed as well. Trevino described the Panama Unit as “Everyone in the streets knew me. We were like a damn gang. We were untouchable.”