Texas Deputy Fired Over Possible Gambling-Related Violations: Report

A Texas sheriff has fired one of his veteran deputies with one report claiming it was because of association with illegal gaming. KRGV TV said Hidalgo County Sheriff J.E. “Eddie” Guerra confirmed Deputy Rodolfo Roel Salinas was dismissed, but declined to provide details.

Hidalgo County Texas Sheriff J.E. “Eddie” Guerra confirmed a deputy was dismissed by the department. A local newspaper claims it relates to possible illegal gambling. (Image: KGBT)

Salinas was neither arrested nor charged with a crime, KRGV said. He could not be reached for comment. The department released a vague statement.

“On … January 29, 2020 I was informed of an incident involving deputy … Rodolfo Salinas involving multiple policy violations,” Guerra said in the statement quoted by the TV station.

Rodolfo was placed on administrative leave with pay pending an internal investigation …. As a result of that investigation, Salinas was terminated on … February 12, 2020.”

KRGV reported that one unnamed source alleged Salinas “had links to an illegal gambling operation.” Earlier this month, another TV station, KGBT, reported Guerra denied that Salinas’ initial suspension was related to a game room raid.

Hidalgo County Records Show Praise for Deputy

Salinas began working for the sheriff’s office in 2005, and relatively quickly got assigned to the Patrol Division. Earlier, he worked at prisons in Texas, KRGV reported based on Hidalgo County personnel records.

Last October, a job performance review by a supervisor said Salinas “has a wealth of knowledge and experience…. I would like to see him venture out to a new assignment such as investigations, something that could challenge him more,” KRGV reported.

The station’s reporter asked for additional details, but Guerra refused, citing a policy of not commenting on personnel matters.

“We will continue to investigate any and all allegations of employee misconduct, and I will take the necessary and appropriate actions to maintain accountability and transparency to … the citizens we serve,” Guerra was quoted by the station.

Dallas Officers Convicted for Gambling-Related Violations

Law enforcement officers in Texas have been investigated for alleged gambling elsewhere in Texas. For instance, the Dallas Morning News reported how an ex-Dallas police officer and two officers apparently still employed were convicted of gambling-related charges last month.

The trio — and perhaps a fourth officer — were allegedly involved in illegal gambling between February 2015 and June 2018 in southeast Oak Cliff, the newspaper reported.

Robert Rogers, a defense attorney connected with the case against two officers, told the newspaper, “It was nothing connected to their job as a police officer…. It was nothing connected to anything greater than that they placed bets on a sporting event, just like millions of people will do this weekend at the Superbowl.”

When the three officers were arrested in 2018, KDFW reported the officers bet on sporting events. One of the officers “would place [a] … wager through a bookie at an illicit gambling operation.”

Also, the report claimed one of the officers would get a text message identified by “Go Cowboys” in the subject line if police were planning to raid the gambling operation where he was visiting.

Elsewhere, in 2017, at least 30 police officers were investigated by Belgium’s gambling commission over allegations they stole the identities of hundreds of Belgian citizens to open online gambling accounts.

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