Three men have been charged with attempting to bribe a U.S. federal judge in a case involving money laundering for the Mexican Los Zetas cartel. One of the men was previously convicted for laundering Los Zetas money through a horse racing scheme. Now he and two others are charged with offering 1.2 million U.S. dollars to a federal judge in an effort to obtain a reduced sentence.
Veracruz, Mexico businessman Francisco Colorado Cessa was convicted on May 9, 2013 of attempting to launder Los Zetas money in the U.S. He received a twenty-year sentence, regardless of the alleged efforts that he, his son, and another man made to bring Mexican-style judicial corruption to the U.S. The U.S. Attorney’s office has been clear that the federal judge in the center of this case was at no time a participant in the scheme.
Though the U.S. Attorney’s office does not specifically state that the federal judge worked with the FBI in bringing these Los Zetas associates to justice over the attempted bribe, they do acknowledge that the efforts spanned several months, indicating that the federal judge cooperated in securing enough evidence in the criminal case against the Los Zetas associates. If this is the case, the federal judge most likely would have acted as an informant for the FBI against Mexico’s most violent cartel.
“We have said from the beginning that this case represents our commitment to keep the violence and corruption associated with Mexican drug cartels out of the United States,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Pittman. “The sentences handed down yesterday emphasize our determination to seek the most severe penalties for importing the brand of corruption that has become endemic in Mexico.”
“The latest allegation, if proven, demonstrates that individuals associated with the most violent drug cartel believe that they can corrupt what we hold as the bedrock of American justice–the United States Courts,” said Pittman.