MCALLEN, Texas (AP) — A former investigator with a South Texas district attorney's office was indicted Wednesday on a drug conspiracy charge in a case in which others are accused of shooting a federal agent.
Aida Palacios was named in a superseding indictment filed Wednesday in McAllen as part of a conspiracy that sought to possess and distribute more than a ton of marijuana. Additional detail about her alleged role was not immediately available and it was unknown if she had an attorney.
Hidalgo County District Attorney Rene Guerra said Palacios worked primarily on cases of people writing bad checks off and on for years in the prosecutor's office. Palacios resigned in August.
The investigation into the drug trafficking ring, in which prosecutors have now implicated Palacios, had been going on for two years when it took a violent turn last summer.
Before dawn on July 3, a special agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations was wounded while conducting surveillance in Hargill, a rural community northeast of McAllen. Agent Kelton Harrison was chased, shot and ran off the road.
Pedro Alvarado, 41, and his 18-year-old son, Arnoldo Alvarado, were charged in the shooting. Pedro Alvarado's 16-year-old son has been charged as a juvenile in a state district court with attempted capital murder and is awaiting a decision on whether he will be charged as an adult.
In December, five more people were indicted on drug conspiracy charges. Palacios was added Wednesday as the sixth person.
"She got involved with the wrong man and that's why you have her in a mess in federal court," Guerra said.
Palacios worked three stints with the district attorney's office, totaling about nine years, beginning in 1986. In addition to chasing down writers of bad checks, she also participated in taking down some gambling establishments, he said.
"I became aware of her problems, awhile back through rumors when the shooting went down in Hargill I got information that she and a former boyfriend were being asked questions by federal authorities," Guerra said. "That's when I first got wind of possibly her being under federal investigation."