Former Sheriff Lupe Trevio loses appeal in money laundering case

Local News

Former Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Treviño // File Photo

Former Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevio will spend five years in federal prison despite his effort to reduce his sentence.

Trevio and his attorney filed an appeal after he was sentenced to 60 months behind bars with two years supervised release.

The former top lawman for Hidalgo County pled guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on July 12, 2014.

The appeal filed in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals alleged Trevio should not have been sentenced to more than 46 months behind bars based on the sentencing guidelines.

The Court, however, does not believe that that is sufficient under the circumstances here, Trevino was told when he was being sentenced to more than the maximum recommendation, according to a transcript filed in U.S. District Court.

District Court Judge Micaela Alvarez sentenced him to 60 months ” 14 months above the recommended sentencing.

An appeal to the sentencing was filed soon after to determine if the court abused its discretion in sentencing him to more than 46 months or wrongly applied sentencing enhancements for abusing his position as sheriff, according to court documents filed on Nov. 19.

Trevio accepted responsibility for receiving and failing to report money that was proceeds of drug trafficking activity and also asserted law enforcement function of the Hidalgo County Sheriff TMs Office was never compromised, the appeal stated.

He claimed he in no way used the Sheriff TMs Office as an elected official to launder money but rather he did it through a campaign account.

The appeals court documented that elected officials and law enforcement personnel “occupy positions of trust.

Trevino TMs money laundering furthered drug trafficking in the community, and the loss of confidence in law enforcement throughout the Rio Grande Valley caused by Trevino TMs criminal conduct, the appeal TMs court opinion reads.

The appeals court noted other members of law enforcement occupy positions of trust citing other court cases involving a police chief and a police lieutenant.

The three judges found no error in Alvarez sentencing the former lawman above the recommended sentencing guideline.

Trevio was convicted of taking money from known drug trafficker Tomas Gonzalez for his political campaign. He is serving his term at the Pensacola Federal Prison Camp in Florida.

Trevio may appeal the appeals court’s decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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