In recent years the Texas border has become a focal point in terms of corruption as state judges, district attorney’s, county sheriffs, police chiefs, mayors, school board presidents and various other municipal officials have all made headlines for using various schemes to earn illicit moneys. From buying votes with cocaine to rigging contracts to taking bribes to having ties to drug traffickers, corruption has become a dark cloud that hangs over the area making it the topic of jokes and political talking points.
In order to fight large amount of corruption the FBI created a task force to investigate all cases of public corruption in the border counties that make up the Rio Grande Valley. The task force is made up of FBI agents, Texas Rangers, Homeland Security Internal Affairs, the Office of Inspector General, as well as various members from local departments
While the FBI has always investigated public corruption, the “disproportionate amount of corruption” in the area led to the agency moving around assets to the Texas border so they could create a new task force aimed at tackling this particular problem, Rock Stone, the FBI special agent heading up the task force said to Breitbart Texas.
“When you receive public money for your job you are held to a higher standard; when you violate that you erode the public’s trust in their government,” Stone said. “In the case of the RGV we have seen some grave injustices that we have addressed and we will continue to address but we need the public’s help for this. We can’t start an investigation until someone in the community steps forward and tells us what is going on.”
Since the task force kicked off in November, the group quickly began receiving tips about corrupt activities in school boards and municipal government offices; however the agents are always looking for more cases.
“You will be surprised, in the coming weeks and months you’ll start seeing multiple indictments come down targeting public corruption,” Stone said. “We do ask a little bit of patience, our investigations are very thorough so they take some time but we will get it done.”
County tax offices, municipal governments, school boards, law enforcement agencies, basically any entity that receives public funds is ours to investigate, Stone said. Any tip given to the FBI through a phone call or through email will be taken by agents in Washington and then sent to the task force officers thus adding a layer of transparency.
“I come from Washington DC, in this particular task that I consider that beneficial because I don’t have personal ties that could be considered a conflict of interest,” Stone said. “I don’t go fishing with certain official or go have barbecue with this other individual. We will investigate every entity and everyone that we get information on.”