BROWNSVILLE, Texas — Hope he likes fajitas.
A Texas juvenile detention center employee has been sentenced to 50 years behind bars for stealing $1.2 million worth of fajitas he ordered to the jail, but then sold on the side.
Gilberto Escamilla, 53, had run the scam for nine years before getting caught last year.
The ploy unraveled when a delivery man showed up the the juvenile hall with 800 pounds of fajitas on a day when Escamilla was out sick.
When the jail cook told the man they didn’t serve fajitas there, the driver explained that he’d been delivering the Mexican meal to the jail for years. The cook then called the warden and a probe was launched.
When officials confronted Escamilla, he admitted he had been stealing the food and selling it to local customers he had lined up.
“It was selfish. It started small and got bigger and out of control,” Escamilla said during his trial, according to the Brownsville Herald. “It got to the point where I couldn’t control it anymore.”
Prosecutors asked for Escamilla to received 50 years to send a message that theft by public servants will b treated harshly.
“We feel a strong message should be sent,” Cameron County Assistant District Attorney Peter Gilman said.