The human brain is not really designed to consider scale much beyond what is immediately apparent to us. We cannot really fathom how big our city is compared to us, let alone, say, our entire state or country. We cannot hold in our minds the sheer enormity of the oceans or the incredible mass of our planet. It would be laughable to think we can truly consider the size of the galaxy or, indeed, our universe. In the same vein, it is truly impossible for us to picture what $1.6 million worth of fajitas looks like.
And, yet, a 53-year-old Texan by the name of Gilberto Escamilla nearly got away with stealing that incomprehensible amount of Tex-Mex foodstuffs. Nearly.
On Friday last week, Escamilla was sentenced to 50 years in the slammer after a neatly genius scheme to sell on fajitas unknowingly purchased by his work was unravelled by an unfortunately timed sick day.
Escamilla, formerly an employee of a Cameron County juvenile detention centre, had been ordering fajitas using county funds and then selling them himself and keeping the money over a period of nine years, racking up a total of $USD1,251,578 (a bit over $1.6 million) in cash.
The plan came undone when a delivery driver arrived on a day that Escamilla was sick and informed the detention centre that their 800 pounds of fajitas had arrived. This seemed odd, as inmates are not served fajitas at the facility.
The court heard that the figure cited did not even reflect the “brisket, pork chops, sausage and various types of chicken Escamilla also admitted to stealing“.
As the Brownsville Herald reports, Judge J. Manuel Bañales sentenced Escamilla 50 years to reflect the amount of money involved, the misuse of county funds, and because he was a public servant.
Escamilla expressed remorse and told the court that everything just sort of got out of hand:
I feel horrible. I wish I could take this back. It was selfish. It started small and got bigger and out of control. It got to a point where I couldn’t control it anymore.
Kids: crime don’t pay.