MCALLEN, Texas — A corrupt Texas Justice of the Peace has pleaded guilty to taking money from a convicted drug trafficker who worked for a bail bondsman in a bond rigging scheme.
On Monday morning, former Justice of the Peace Ismael “Melo” Ochoa pleaded guilty to two counts of bribery and one count of money laundering. Ochoa took a plea deal which resulted in a 10-year probation sentence, a $10,000 fine and $5,000 in reparations to the county.
Ochoa is the latest politician tied to a series of separate but connected conspiracies related to drug trafficking, bribery, and illegal favors that included former Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino, some of his top advisers and Texas based Gulf Cartel kingpin Tomas “El Gallo” Gonzalez. The network surrounded a series of favors that Gonzalez paid for in cash and in political donations.
Ochoa’s role in the network dealt with rigging bonds for the individuals brought by former bail company employee Julio Davila, according to court records obtained by Breitbart Texas.
Those individuals included Gonzalez and his employees; Gonzalez was convicted in federal court of bribing former Sheriff Trevino and one of his commanders in exchange for favors. Gonzalez and Davila have been cooperating with authorities in providing information and testimony against corrupt officials. Sources close to the investigation have told Breitbart Texas that the reason for Ochoa’s lenient sentence is because of his cooperation with authorities.
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