Federal agents at Edinburg law firm

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A Homeland Security Investigations agent walks toward the entrance of Palacios, Garza and Thompson, an Edinburg law firm cofounded by former Edinburg City Attorney Ricardo “Ricky” Palacios. Agents executed a search warrant at the law office on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024. (Dina Arévalo | [email protected])

EDINBURG — Federal agents descended upon the law firm of Palacios, Garza and Thompson Thursday morning.

An HSI spokesperson confirmed the presence of law enforcement at the firm.

“HSI is the lead investigating agency in today’s enforcement action. HSI is being assisted by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), FBI and the IRS. No additional details are being released at this time; the criminal investigation remains ongoing,” HSI said in a statement.

Thursday’s law enforcement activity began at approximately 9 a.m. when several unmarked vehicles, escorted by a marked Texas DPS patrol unit, arrived at the law office located on Canton Road near Canterbury Elementary School.

Moments later, agents bearing windbreakers emblazoned with “HSI” and “IRS-CI,” short for “criminal investigations,” entered the building.

Less than an hour after their arrival, a U.S. Department of Homeland Security helicopter approached the area, circled above the building once, and then headed west.

The Edinburg law firm was cofounded in 2014 by Ricardo “Ricky” Palacios, a one-time Edinburg city attorney and formerly the chief felony prosecutor at the 92nd state District Court for the Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office.

A 1994 graduate of then-University of Texas – Pan American, Palacios earned his law degree in 1998 from the Texas Southern University-Thurgood Marshall School of Law, according to a biography on his firm’s website.

Palacios served as the Edinburg city attorney until November 2017, when he resigned in the wake of a regime change on the Edinburg City Council shortly after Richard Molina was elected mayor.

Palacios belongs to the political powerhouse Palacios family of Edinburg.

The current Hidalgo County District Attorney, Toribio “Terry” Palacios, is his uncle, while former DA and current Pharr City Attorney Ricardo Rodriguez is his cousin.

Meanwhile, his brother, Joseph Palacios, served on the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court for eight years before losing his re-election bid to current Precinct 4 Commissioner Ellie Torres in 2018.

The firm website lists Ricky Palacios’ expertise as criminal defense, personal injury and family law, but Palacios also has a long history in local government law.

Aside from serving as the attorney for the city of Edinburg and its economic development corporation, Palacios has also worked with the cities of Palmview and McAllen.

Currently, he and his firm serve as general counsel for the city of San Juan.

It remains unclear why HSI executed a search warrant at Palacios’ law firm Thursday.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new information.