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50-Year Sentence Given for Theft of $1.2 Million in Fajitas in South Texas

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A south Texas man who was charged with (and pleaded guilty to) stealing $1.2 million in fajitas was sentenced on Friday, April 20. Using taxpayer dollars, Gilberto Escamilla (age 53)  stole the fajitas through a food service company that was hired to supply his place of employment. During the time of the theft, he was an employee of the Cameron County Juvenile Justice Department (CCJJD).

Escamilla, now a former employee of the CCJJD, was arrested in August of 2017 following an investigation which had determined his home refrigerator contained stolen food. According to reports, this was triggered by a food service driver calling the department’s kitchen to notify its staff regarding a delivery of fajitas totaling 800 pounds. Upon receiving the call, a kitchen employee stated that CCJJD didn’t serve fajitas, to which the driver explained that he had been delivering them to that location over the last nine years.

50-Year Sentence Given for Theft of $1.2 Million in Fajitas in South Texas

Photo: Instagram/simplyfood.bymolly

During the investigation that ensued, South Texas authorities found packages of the stolen fajitas in Escamilla’s home. Prosecutors asserted that he stole $1,251,578-worth of fajita orders, not to eat himself, but to deliver to his own customers. As a result of the investigation, Escamilla’s sentence was 50 years in prison for theft by a public servant. The prosecution stated that in this sentence they felt “…a strong message should be sent” to public employees in the state. According to local media outlets, Escamilla stated during testimony: “It was selfish. It started small and got bigger and out of control. It got to the point where I couldn’t control it anymore.”