Grand jury indicts former deputies

RAYMONDVILLE — Two former Willacy County Sheriff’s deputies have been indicted following a year-long state investigation.

A Willacy County grand jury indicted former Sgt. Guillermo Salinas and former investigator John Reyes on a charge of tampering with a government record, a second-degree felony.

The two veteran lawmen are expected to be arraigned March 20.

The indictments stem from a Texas Rangers investigation into the possible theft of overtime paid through the Stone Garden and Border Star grants, which pay officers overtime to work high-crime areas.

Yesterday, Sheriff Larry Spence declined to comment specifically on the case.

“We’ve been working grants for years and this is the first time we’ve had to deal with anything of this nature,” Spence wrote in an email.

Last year, the Texas Rangers requested grant records filed between August and November 2016.

Spence described the former deputies as “good officers.”

“We never had problems prior to this,” Spence said.

Salinas, who had worked with the sheriff’s department for about 20 years, managed the two grants while serving as a sergeant, supervisor and investigator.

In March 2017, Salinas resigned to move to Colorado, where his wife was working.

Reyes, who had worked for the department for about 15 years, was a patrolman assigned to work as an investigator.

More than two weeks ago, Reyes resigned after his sick leave expired following a knee injury last November.

Last year, Spence said the Stone Garden and Border Star grants have helped fund officers’ pay amid budget cuts stemming from the closure of the Willacy County Correctional Center in February 2015.

Yesterday, Reyes declined comment.

Salinas could not be reached for comment.

More Information

Guillermo Salinas

20-year department veteran

Managed Stone Garden and Border Star grants

Served as sergeant, supervisor and investigator

Resigned in March 2017 to move to Colorado

John Reyes

15-year department veteran

Worked as an investigator

Resigned more than two weeks ago following knee injury