Two Texas border politicians have pleaded guilty to bribery in connection with various contracts in Crystal City. Several other politicians are still awaiting trial in the case.
On Thursday morning, former Crystal City Mayor Pro-Tem Rogelio Mata and former city councilman Roel Mata went before U.S. District Judge Alia Moses where each pleaded guilty to one count of bribery. The brothers are facing up to 10 years in prison at their upcoming sentencing hearing, information provided to Breitbart Texas by the U.S. Attorney’s Office revealed.
During Thursday’s hearing, the two men admitted that since early 2015, they used their positions to solicit and accept cash bribes from individuals and businesses looking to ink contracts with the city.
Breitbart Texas previously reported on the raid at the beginning of the year that resulted in the arrest of the Mata brothers and other municipal officials. In May 2016, Ngoc Tri Nguyen, a businessman, pleaded guilty to one count of bribery after paying $6,000 in exchange for favors from local politicians. Former City Manager William James Jonas, Mayor Ricardo Lopez and City Councilman Gilbert Urrabazo are awaiting trial on multiple bribery charges as well. The case against the various city officials in Crystal City was the result of an investigation by the FBI, Texas Rangers, DPS Criminal Investigation Division and San Antonio Police.
Crystal City is just a few miles from the border city of Eagle Pass, where earlier this year authorities arrested the city manager of that city on similar bribery charges. Breitbart Texas previously reported on the arrest of Hector Chavez, the former manager of Eagle Pass.
The allegations against Chavez listed in the indictment point to him having allegedly bribed a Maverick County Commissioner, lied to federal agents, forged contracts to hide bribes, and falsifying documents to “obstruct justice.” He is also awaiting trial in the case.