McALLEN, Texas (AP) — A South Texas district attorney has fired an investigator who invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when called to testify in a corruption trial.
Hidalgo County District Attorney Rene Guerra said he had fired investigator Charlie Vela after Vela declined to answer questions in the trial of former sheriff’s deputy Jorge Garza. Garza is accused of drug trafficking conspiracy and is on trial in federal court in McAllen.
Vela does not face any charges in the case but was called as a defense witness after prosecutors rested their case on Thursday. Garza is the only defendant of nine former law enforcement officers implicated in a scheme to steal and resell drugs.
Garza is also accused of having been paid to guard stash houses where the stolen drugs were stored.