Witness Claims “Panama Unit” Officers Busted Him On Lesser Charge To Keep His Cocaine, $25,000 Cash

Sergio Chapa
Valley Central
February 1, 2013


Traces of Reality:  Another chapter in the ongoing Panama Unit scandal in south Texas…  -DB

(Left to right): Jonathan Treviño, Gerardo Duran, Alexis Espinoza

(Left to right): Jonathan Treviño, Gerardo Duran, Alexis Espinoza

The FBI is protecting a new witness that has come forward alleging that members of the now-defunct “Panama Unit” took several pounds of cocaine and $25,000 dollars in cash from him.

FBI agents took 28-year-old Juan Vasquez-Vega into custody last Thursday.

Federal court records show that Vasquez-Vega is being held as a material witness against Jonathan Treviño and three other members of the now-defunct Panama Unit anti-drug task force.

An undercover sting ended with Treviño and the others being accused of abusing their badges to take bribes to escort drug loads in Hidalgo County.

According to an affidavit, members of the Panama Unit arrested Vasquez-Vega at Matt’s Cash and Carry off Expressway 83 in Pharr back in July.

Vasquez-Vega had two kilograms of cocaine on him prompting authorities to go and search his apartment off Nolana Avenue in McAllen.

The Panama Unit allegedly found $25,000 dollars in cash at his home.

Vasquez-Vega told FBI agents that the officers kept the cocaine and the cash and then booked him in jail on a lesser charge.

Read the full article— New witness claims “Panama Unit” officers took his cocaine, cash