Texas jail worker steals $1.2M of fajitas

Beef fajitas
Photo credit: Lisovskaya Natalia /

A fajita delivery has cost a Texas jail worker his job and soon maybe his freedom. Gilberto Escamilla worked for the Cameron County Juvenile Justice Department in Texas and decided back in August 2017 to take a day off from work for a medical appointment. When a food delivery vendor came to the jail to inform the cafeteria that a delivery of 800 pounds of fajitas was ready, it threw up a red flag. The Cameron County Juvenile Justice Department does not serve fajitas to inmates.

When Escamilla returned to work the next day, he was confronted with why he was getting fajita deliveries and he admitted to stealing fajitas for the past nine years. He was fired by the county and later arrested on a theft charge. Escamilla later made bond but the district attorney’s Special Investigations Unit kept looking into the case after they discovered packets of fajitas in his refrigerator. Investigators discovered purchase orders and documents that showed Escamilla stole approximately $1,251,578 worth of fajitas. Cameron County District Attorney Luis V. Saenz stated to the Brownsville Herald,  “If it wasn’t so serious, you’d think it was a Saturday Night Live skit. But this is the real thing, he would literally, on the day he ordered them, deliver them to customers he had already lined up. We’ve been able to uncover two of his purchasers, and they are cooperating with the investigation.”

Escamilla was arrested this week on a charge of first-degree felony theft for his fajita thefts. In the meantime, the county is now dealing with the embarrassing fact that no one caught the purchase orders and taxpayers are out of money.

Mo Barnes
Mo Barnes

Maurice "Mo" Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician. He has been writing for Rolling Out since 2014. Whether it means walking through a bloody police shooting to help a family find justice or showing the multifaceted talent of the Black Diaspora I write the news.