A Texas border county commissioner, a county employee and three contractors have been sent to federal prison for their individual roles in a kickback and bid rigging scheme. So far eight individuals have been sentenced at least 10 others are awaiting sentencing in connection with widespread corruption in the Texas border county.
This week in Del Rio, U.S. District Judge Alia Moses sentenced former Maverick County Commissioner Rodolfo Bainet Heredia and his associates to federal prison terms. He then postponed the sentencing of Cesar Flores, another Maverick County Commissioner to a later date, according to information provided to Breitbart Texas by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Maverick County surrounds the town of Eagle Pass, Texas and is across the border from the Mexican town of Piedras Negras.
“The corruption in the cases sentenced this week works like a cancer on the body politic, eating away public confidence in local government,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Richard Durbin in a prepared statement. “We will make every effort to counter its effects and hold accountable those who abuse the public trust for their personal gain.”
Heredia had pleaded guilty in 2013 to bribery charges in connection with a conspiracy that ran from 2010 to 2011 where he manipulated the bidding process to ensure that contracts would go to those he chose, according to information from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Heredia would also instruct contractors to inflate their bids to ensure they had enough money to make a profit and pay his bribes. For his activity, Judge Moses sentenced Heredia to a 10 year prison term and ordered him to pay more than half a million in restitution.
Fellow commissioner Flores will be sentenced at a later date for his role in receiving a bribe as part of Heredia’s conspiracy in connection with rigging the bidding process.
The judge also sentenced Alejandra Garcia, a 28-year-old county employee, to more than 9 years in prison for collecting bribes from contractors in order to issue out payment checks before they were even approved by the commission.
Marcelo Alvarez, a 56-year-old surveyor will spend close to 10 years in prison for paying bribes to the county commissioners in exchange for getting surveying jobs, information from the U.S. Attorney’s Office revealed.
Salvador Castillon, the owner of a concrete company in Eagle Pass will spend more than 7 years in prison for paying bribes to county commissioners in order to get contracts with the county.
Saul Lombrana, another Eagle Pass contractor will spend close to three years in prison for charging the county for a project he never did. He then splitting the money with another county employee.
“These defendants created a culture of corruption that spread throughout Maverick County, enabling theft and waste to thrive while taxpayers and honest businesses suffered,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Chris Combs in a prepared statement.