Records shed light on tax office probe

BROWNSVILLE — Two probable cause affidavits released by authorities yesterday reveal how criminal charges brought this week against Cameron County Tax-Assessor Collector Tony Yzaguirre Jr. and three others transpired in an investigation dubbed “Operation Dirty Deeds.”

An undercover operation in 2015 by the Texas Department of Public Safety led to the arrest Wednesday of Yzaguirre, county tax investigator Pedro Garza, dealer/notary supervisor Omar Sanchez-Paz and Chief of Investigations Lt. Jose Mireles.

The probable cause affidavits detailed dealings in which Yzaguirre allegedly would take cash in exchange for private meetings to perform fraudulent vehicle registrations this past September and December. The probable cause affidavit also states Yzaguirre in the meeting had one of his investigators check a person — referred to in the affidavit as a “cooperating individual” — to see if he was wearing a “wire,” also known as a recording device for undercover law enforcement operations.

The probable cause affidavit alleges that, for a $100 fee per vehicle, Yzaguirre would meet personally with vehicle registration applicants who otherwise couldn’t register a vehicle.

For the rest of this story and many other EXTRAS, go to our premium site,

Subscribe to it for only $6.99 per month or purchase a print subscription and receive the online version free, which includes an electronic version of the full newspaper and extra photo galleries, links and other information you can’t find anywhere else.