Sizzling Steal: Man Nabbed for $1.25 Million Fajita Heist

Make fajitas, not felonies.

By Ethan L. Johns
October 17, 2017

Nine years and a mountain of meat later, a Tex-Mex mystery was solved when a kitchen slip-up led to the discovery of a spicy embezzlement scheme. Holy margaritas, that’s a lot of fajitas!

On August 7th, Gilberto Escamilla—an employee at the Juvenile Justice Department in Cameron County, Texas—took a sick day and missed the delivery of an 800-pound shipment of fajita meat, according to the Brownsville Herald. Normally, this sort of thing wouldn’t cause much of a stir-fry; the kitchen staff just unpacks the stuff and stores it in the walk-in. But in this particular case, Escamilla’s absence resulted in his getting burned.

When the kitchen got the call from the fajita-bearing delivery dude, they were confuddled. The Juvenile Justice Department doesn’t even serve fajitas! Then, when the supreme sachem of steak delivery responded that he had, in fact, been transporting the marinated meat to that very kitchen for the past nine years, the staff quickly realized that something was quite wrong.

Mr. Escamilla, the fajita kingpin himself, arrived at work the next day to find a confrontation, at which point he confessed his crimes and admitted to stealing and re-selling the southwestern-style skirts over the course of the past nine years. Escamilla was promptly fired. After a warrant was issued to search his home, he was caught red-handed when officers found packets of the red meat in his home refrigerator.

After poring over the purchase orders and invoices, investigators concluded that Escamilla had embezzled $1,251,578 of taxpayer money. The order that got him caught, alone, was enough to land him in jail for having committed what is most likely the greatest first-degree fajita felony for theft that Texas has ever seen.

So let this be a lesson to us all. Next time you’re feeling a kleptomaniacal attack coming on, head to the supermarket and make your own frickin' fajitas!

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About Ethan L. Johns

Ethan is the Food News Writer at Genius Kitchen. An expert on the Parisian bistrot, he likes bitters and salted butters, and is no fan of dessert unless it's made with fruit. His hobbies include reading up on the history of borscht and attempting to roll perfect couscous by hand. Twits & Instagram @EthanLJohns