- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 23, 2014

McALLEN, Texas (AP) - A drug smuggler whose campaign contributions led to the recent resignation and federal conviction of a South Texas sheriff has pleaded guilty in McAllen to federal drug trafficking and money-laundering charges.

The U.S. Attorney’s office says 37-year-old Tomas Reyes Gonzalez of Weslaco pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to possess drugs with intent to distribute them and conspiracy to launder money.

Reyes Gonzalez led a drug-trafficking organization that moved tons of marijuana and cocaine from the Lower Rio Grande Valley to states across the Southeast between 2007 and 2013. Former Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino (treh-VEEN’-yoh) pleaded guilty to laundering some of those drug proceeds as campaign contributions earlier this month.

U.S. District Judge Randy Crane set sentencing for July 17 in McAllen. Reyes Gonzalez faces up to life in prison.

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