FBI informant who stole from handlers gets sentenced

McALLEN — An Edinburg man was sentenced this week to time served for trying to steal $15,000 in cash while working as an informant during a drug operation, records show.

Abdiel Pauline Sosa remains in custody at the Hidalgo County Jail on pending state charges after being released from federal custody Wednesday.

Sosa, 24, was arrested in connection with federal public funds, property or records charges after he admitted to federal agents he tried to steal money that federal agents provided to him as part of his work as an informant in a drug case investigation.

On Aug. 22, 2019, Sosa told his FBI handlers that another man, Abraham Ezequiel Hurtado Treviño, had provided him photos and videos of a light anti-tank weapon and had offered to sell it to Sosa for $15,000, the complaint against Sosa read.

Sosa, who has a history of buying weapons from Hurtado, met with FBI agents the following day and was provided with $15,000 in cash to buy the anti-tank weapon from Hurtado.

After receiving the cash, Sosa drove to La Plaza Mall to meet with Hurtado, all while under federal surveillance. The pair met in the parking garage.

“Afterwards, Hurtado departed the location and Sosa drove back to 5700 S. 10th Street before driving north on old 10th Street and parking on the side of the road,” the document read.

Sosa called federal agents during the operation and advised them to wait for Hurtado at his current location while he retrieved the weapon.

“Additionally, Sosa stated that he had already provided Hurtado with the entire $15,000 and that Hurtado left to go pick up the (light anti-tank weapon),” the complaint read.

Subsequently, Sosa told agents that Hurtado was no longer responding to phone calls.

Sosa was instructed to drive to a location in order to meet with federal agents. He told them he gave Hurtado the entire $15,000 because he was afraid of him.

FBI agents took Sosa to the McAllen FBI offices where they interviewed him regarding the cash he was provided.

During this time, agents found Hurtado and interviewed him.

“Hurtado stated that Sosa gave him approximately $4,000 for pretending that he was going to sell a (light anti-tank weapon) and kept the rest for himself,” the complaint stated. “A consent search was conducted at Hurtado’s residence and a safe was found with a large amount of currency.”

Hurtado admitted some of the cash found in the safe was from Sosa.

A search of Sosa’s vehicle led to the discovery of $8,800 in cash hidden under the carpet in front of the driver’s seat, accounting for some of the $15,000.

Eventually, Sosa admitted that he lied to agents about giving the money to Hurtado and said he  told Hurtado he would pay him to pretend they were executing a deal. As a result, Sosa was charged with providing a false statement to federal agents.

Sosa and Hurtado each pleaded guilty to the charge Nov. 1, 2019, records show.

Hurtado, 27, a native of Pharr, was also sentenced to time served during a hearing Tuesday, records show.

Sosa, who had been in federal custody since his arrest Aug. 25, 2019, was not ordered to serve a supervised release term. Instead he and Hurtado will owe $2,200 in restitution, the amount unaccounted for after their meeting.