Texas Border Judge and Bail Bondsman Imprisoned for Extorting Bribes

Judge's Gavel

A former justice of the peace in the border city of Laredo and a former bail bondsman have been sentenced to prison for using their position to extort bribes out of prisoners.

Former Webb County Justice of the Peace Ricardo Rangel and bondsman Juan Enrique Rodriguez pleaded guilty last year to the charges of conspiracy and extortion under color of official right, information provided to Breitbart Texas by the U.S. Attorney’s office revealed.

This week, U.S. District Judge Diana Saldana sentenced Rangel to a 37 month prison sentence and Rodriguez to 13 months in prison.

According to the information provided, Rodriguez had paid multiple bribes to Rangel in order to have him reduce the bonds of his clients.

Federal authorities began to look into the two on March 25, 2012 when Rangel took a $250 bribe from Rodriguez in exchange for setting a low bond for man charged with DWI.

As Breitbart Texas previously reported, bribing judges along the Texas border and bond rigging schemes appears to be common practice.

Last month Breitbart Texas reported on Salvador Zarate, a Justice of the Peace in Starr County was arrested for taking a $500 bribe from two individuals around the Christmas holidays.

Just one county over, in Hidalgo County, former Justice of the Peace Ismael “Melo” Ochoa also pleaded guilty to taking bribes in exchange for setting lower bonds, Breitbart Texas reported last October.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award winning journalist with Breitbart Texas you can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.