Texas man gets 50-year prison sentence for theft of $1.2M in fajitas

(FOX NEWS) -- A former juvenile justice department employee from Texas was sentenced Friday to 50 years in prison after being convicted of stealing $1.2 million in fajitas with county funds.

Gilberto Escamilla, 53, pleaded guilty to theft by a public servant, the Brownsville Herald reported.

“It was selfish. It started small and got bigger and out of control,” Escamilla said while testifying. “It got to the point where I couldn’t control it anymore.”

Last year, Cameron County authorities arrested Escamilla after learning he had been accepting deliveries of fajitas for nine years -- even though the detention center's kitchen didn't offer the food item on its menu, the Dallas Morning News reported.

During an investigation, officers searched his house and found packages of the stolen food in his refrigerator, the newspaper reported.

Officials said he stole more than $1.2 million worth of fajita orders and delivered them to his own customers, the Herald reported.

Cameron County Assistant District Attorney Peter Gilman asked visiting State District Judge J. Manuel Banales to sentence Escamilla to 50 years to send a “strong message” that theft by public servants will result in a long prison sentence, the report said.

Escamilla was reportedly allowed a brief moment to say goodbye to his family.

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