Hidalgo city councilman accused of not paying farmer for $134,000 worth of jalapeños

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A produce farmer is accusing Hidalgo city council member Oziel Treviño of not paying for thousands of dollars’ worth of jalapeños.

A produce farmer is accusing Hidalgo city council member Oziel Treviño of not paying for thousands of dollars’ worth of jalapeños.

Jalisco-based farmer and grower Victor Aguilar says he entered into an agreement in July to sell chile jalepeños to Hidalgo city councilmember Oziel Treviño, owner of importer company Oz Trading Group Inc.

But when the shipment arrived, Treviño says it wasn’t what he expected.

“The product that was received—it failed to meet grade, which what it means under guidelines was that the product was decomposed. It had a lot of dirt,” Treviño said.

Treviño showed CBS 4 News pictures of the shipments he received and a USDA inspection certificate conducted on a shipment, which states the produce was shriveling, had decay affecting the stems and walls of the produce and had sunken, discolored areas.

The shipment, Treviño says, was a total loss due to the findings in the inspection. Only a small amount was shipped to buyers, who say they never sold it due to advanced decaying.

“If it doesn’t sell, you don’t get paid and that’s what happened– we didn’t get paid. We had to throw most of it, 90 percent of that was dumped,” said Treviño.

When the payment never came in, Aguilar filed a police report against Treviño, stating that “they transported 12 trailers full of chile jalapeño containing 1,150 boxes each, totaling $134,000 worth of produce.”

Shortly after, Aguilar hired an attorney.

“He told them that some of the shipment was damaged from the shipment getting crossed over,” said Aguilar’s attorney Bernadette Treviño. “They would have had to had problems crossing over, so we don’t believe that to be true. From that time on, they have not received any payment from him.”

Treviño says he stands by the fact that the product was damaged and unsellable, even though it made it through U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s general inspections.

Aguilar’s attorney adds that they never saw proper documentation, or pictures, to be able to make adjustments.

The Alamo Police Department continues to investigate the case.

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