A former Texas juvenile justice department employee was sentenced to 50 years in prison after pleading guilty to stealing fajitas worth of $1.2 million.
Gilberto Escamilla, 53, who worked many years at the Cameron County Juvenile Justice, was taken into custody after a driver from Labatt Food Service in Harlingen, Texas called the department’s kitchen and said he was delivering an 800 pounds order of fajitas. The Brownsville Herald reported.
The kitchen worker told the driver that the juvenile department does not serve fajitas, but the driver told her that he had been delivering fajitas there for the past nine years.
Escamilla was fired from his job and arrested the following day. When authorities searched his house, they found packages of the stolen food in the refrigerator.
Prosecutors said he took $1,251,578 worth of fajita orders and delivered them to his own customers. The Dallas Morning News reported.
“It was selfish. It started small and got bigger and then out of control,” Escamilla said while testifying in the courtroom. “It got to the point where I couldn’t control it anymore.”
Cameron County Assistant District Attorney Peter Gilman asked visiting state District Judge J. Manuel Banales to give a defendant a 50 years sentence for stealing fajitas and send a message that theft by public servants warrants a long prison sentence.