The Man Behind Hidalgo County’s Biggest Law Enforcement Scandal

Flores said he feels like he did the right thing working as an informant but that it ruined his life. “I feel like I have no other choice but to speak out,” he said of his interview with the Observer. “I have to protect myself and my reputation because I know the sheriff has it in for me. I did the right thing, but it cost me a lot.”

For more than six months, Miguel Flores lived a double life. In his day job, he was a narcotics investigator for the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Department. But underneath his uniform, he secretly wore a wire for the Federal Bureau of Investigation as part of a probe into corruption at the highest levels of law enforcement along the border.

With four children to feed and clothe, Flores saw a solid middle-class future in law enforcement. He worked hard, and in 2011 earned a promotion from deputy patrol officer to narcotics investigator. “I was doing really good, taking down a lot of loads,” Flores said in an exclusive interview with the Observer. “I had good informants.”

Then one day in August 2012, Gerardo Duran and Sal Arguello—two members of the Panama Unit, a rogue narcotic task force led by Jonathan Treviño, the son of Sheriff Guadalupe “Lupe” Treviño— approached Flores with an offer he couldn’t refuse. “Duran told me ‘you seem to know a lot of people with good information,’” Flores said. “I told them I’d be happy to introduce them to some of my informants, so they could make some arrests.”

But, according to Flores, that wasn’t what Duran had in mind, replying, “We don’t arrest them. We take their shit.”

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