Posted: Feb 14, 2012 10:46 AM
BROWNSVILLE - Francisco Cisneros, a bail bondsman who admitted to bribing ex-state judge Abel Limas, was sentenced to 16 months in federal prison. He was also ordered to pay a $2,500 fine and serve a three-year-term of supervised release upon completing his prison term.
In August, the 47-year-old entered a guilty plea to charges of aiding and abetting extortion. At that time, Cisneros admitted to paying $2,000 to Jose Manuel "Meme" Longoria to bribe Limas. The money was allegedly in exchange for Limas changing a bond for Rodolfo Gracia. Gracia was a defendant in a drug case pending in Limas' court.
According to authorities, Gracia's relatives gave the money to Cisneros, who passed the money to Longoria. Investigators spotted Longoria pass the money to Limas. Prosecutors say Limas then placed a call to his court and ordered Gracia's $25,000 cash/surety bond changed to a personal recognizance bond.
To date, a total of eight defendants have entered guilty pleas in the FBI's four-year public corruption investigation.
Limas and Longoria each entered guilty pleas to related violations. Their sentencing hearings are set for March 13.