A Texas Public Information Act request to the city of McAllen has confirmed police are investigating the produce warehouse where a man died on Nov. 18, but it’s not clear what kind of crime authorities are investigating.
In response to a request from The Monitor seeking the police report regarding the death of 32-year-old Luis Reymundo Pierda Martinez at Plateros Produce, the city says it’s withholding the information based on a previous Texas Attorney General opinion because city officials argue it would interfere with the detection, investigation or prosecution of a crime.
The newspaper refiled the request, which will require the city to ask AG for an opinion.
Martinez, who was an employee at the warehouse at 4314 W. Military Highway, was found dead inside the facility.
A source familiar with the circumstances of how Martinez was found said the man would stay overnight at the warehouse due to the long drive home and that Plateros underwent fumigation while the man stayed overnight.
On Wednesday, Nov. 20, reporters revisiting the location without police lines to keep them away could smell a chemical odor around the front door of the facility, which led to an office.
The lights were still on and the inside of the office was visible through the front door.
An air mattress with blankets on it could be seen inside the office near a door that was cracked open leading into the warehouse, where product could be seen on pallets. There were food and drinks. A single vent appeared to connect the office to the warehouse.
Plateros Produce has been closed. The McAllen health department displayed warnings there, one of which read: “An authorized agent has tagged and hereby detained this article which the agent has found or has probable cause to believe that the article is adulterated: is misbranded so as to be dangerous or fraudulent: or violates Texas Food Establishment Rules 228.225.”
The health department declined to comment on those warnings, referring questions to police. The Monitor has again reached out to police to ask what kind of crime is being investigated.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration confirmed they are investigating, but declined to answer questions about what they are investigating.