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Man accused of felony theft of $1.2 million worth of fajitas

Fajitas are a popular food in Texas, but it is hard to imagine a state worker trying to steal $1.2 million worth of them from Cameron County over a multi-year period. Authorities recently fired a juvenile justice department employee and accused him of stealing all those fajitas and getting away with it for nine years. The police have arrested the man for felony theft after getting a search warrant and finding packages of the food contraband in his refrigerator.

The alleged plot would not have been discovered if the accused had not missed work for a medical appointment one day. A delivery driver showed up that day at the man's job location in juvenile justice with 800 pounds of fajitas. The delivery was rejected on the premise that the department did not serve fajitas. The driver, however, told the county employees that he had been delivering fajitas to juvenile justice for the past nine years.

Authorities say that the fired employee was operating his own fajita business and selling county-funded food to his own network of customers. According to police, the accused has admitted to the plot. If that is true, his confession will be examined carefully by defense counsel to determine if it was voluntarily given. A coerced confession is subject to being suppressed on a motion for suppression of the evidence.

If the facts do not allow for a successful challenge to the apparent confession, counsel will enter the process of negotiating a plea bargain with the district attorney pursuant to Texas law and procedure. The prosecutor has likened the events to a Saturday Night Live skit but has committed to prosecuting the case as a serious felony crime. If guilt is established and a plea entered, the remaining critical question is for county authorities. How did the accused manage to help himself to heavy volumes of fajitas for so many years without detection? The questions abound and are part of an investigation recently opened by the county.

Source: cbsnews.com, "Texas county worker arrested over $1.2M stolen fajitas scheme", Oct. 17, 2017

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