Charges dropped in one ‘Dirty Deeds’ case

BROWNSVILLE — Charges were dismissed yesterday against Pedro Garza Jr., former Cameron County tax investigator.

Garza previously was charged with bribery, a second-degree felony; engaging in organized criminal activity, a first-degree felony; and official oppression, a Class A misdemeanor.

“It is not in the state’s best interest to prosecute the employees before we prosecute Mr. Tony Yzaguirre,” Saenz said in a statement. “The investigation continues.”

Nathaniel Perez, Garza’s attorney, said the D.A.’s office had never taken that stance before in open court.

“They need further investigation? What do they need to investigate? That’s the typical excuse they use when they dismiss a case and don’t have any evidence,” Perez said.

Earlier this year, Garza was arrested alongside Tax Assessor-Collector Tony Yzaguirre, dealer/notary supervisor Omar Sanchez-Paz and Chief of Investigations Lt. Jose Mireles as the result of a two-year Department of Public Safety investigation dubbed “Operation Dirty Deeds,” in which several employees had been accused of taking bribes and other charges.

DPS later arrested Claudia Elisa Sanchez in March and charged her with one count of tampering with government records.

Charges are pending against the other employees.

Yzaguirre is scheduled to appear in court for his trial in November.

Perez criticized the state’s conduct in the case.

“We’re going to have a hearing on Monday, because we did file for misconduct on the (Texas ) Ranger, and although there may not be a remedy to the contest, we do want it out in open court before the judge,” Perez said.

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Story Highlights

– Pedro Garza was the former Cameron County tax investigator.

– Charged with bribery, engaging in organized criminal activity, official oppression.

– Arrested alongside Tax Assessor-Collector  Tony Yzaguirre in a Department of Public Safety investigation dubbed “Operation Dirty Deeds.”

– Charges were dropped yesterday for Garza.