December 2, 2013 8:31 PM
BROWNSVILLE - Federal authorities are searching for a former Tamaulipas governor wanted on multiple charges, including conspiracy.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Brownsville on Monday made Tomas Yarrington Ruvalcaba's arrest warrant public. Yarrington is accused of conspiracy to defraud and conspiracy to launder money. Alleged co-conspirator Fernando Alejandro Cano... more »
December 2, 2013 5:26 PM
BROWNSVILLE - Former state District Judge Abel Limas is expected to turn himself in to a federal prison on Tuesday in Pensacola, Fla.
Limas is set to begin a six-year sentence for his role in a bribery and racketeering scheme. Limas also must pay $6.2 million in restitution to... more »
November 15, 2013 12:52 PM
BROWNSVILLE - A Cameron County employee was found guilty in a corruption trial.
Raul Salazar was convicted on two counts of abuse of official capacity and one count of tampering with a government record. Salazar worked for Cameron County Commissioner Ernie Hernandez.
Prosecutors said Salazar ordered a human... more »
November 13, 2013 9:11 AM
BROWNSVILLE - Testimony will start today in a corruption case involving a Cameron County worker.
A grand jury indicted Raul Salazar on two counts of abuse of official capacity and one count of tampering with a government record. Salazar works for Cameron County Commissioner Ernie Hernandez. Authorities allege Salazar... more »
October 22, 2013 8:03 PM
PROGRESO - A federal judge on Tuesday granted a motion to declare the Progreso corruption case as complex.
An assistant U.S. attorney filed the motion to give defense attorneys more time to peruse the evidence gathered in the case.
The motion states that the case is complex because... more »
October 3, 2013 8:18 PM
BROWNSVILLE - Former Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos will wait have to wait longer to find out his sentence.
A jury convicted Villalobos on racketeering and extortion charges. His sentencing hearing was set for late October, but his attorneys asked for more time to argue for a shorter... more »
September 24, 2013 12:19 PM
BROWNSVILLE - Attorneys for the former Cameron County district attorney want to delay his sentencing.
A jury convicted Armando Villalobos in May of racketeering, extortion and conspiracy. Prosecutors said he bribed a state district judge and accepted bribes from other attorneys.
Villallobos is set to be sentenced next... more »
September 12, 2013 8:07 PM
PROGRESO - The Progreso Independent School District is trying to regain the public's trust after three of its officials were charged in a federal corruption case.
PISD Attorney Kevin O'Hanlon said the corruption case turned the district upside down.
PISD board president, Michael Vela, and his father Jose... more »
September 12, 2013 4:23 PM
PROGRESO - The Progreso Independent School District board president resigned on Thursday.
Michael Vela, his brother, Progreso Mayor Omar Vela, and their father, Jose Vela are part of a federal corruption investigation.
Michael Vela tendered his resignation to the district's superintendent. In it he acknowledges that he is... more »
September 5, 2013 8:12 PM
McALLEN - The Progreso mayor, his brother and their father were granted bond Thursday during a federal detention hearing. The trio may go free until their trial on corruption charges.
Progreso Mayor Omar Vela, Michael Vela and Jose Guadalupe Vela have been behind bars for about a week, accused... more »
September 4, 2013 4:17 PM
McALLEN - Defense attorneys on Wednesday asked a federal judge to release the Progreso mayor, his brother and their father on bond.
Progreso Mayor Omar Vela, Michael Vela and Jose Guadalupe Vela are behind bars accused of demanding bribes and kickbacks from contractors. The mayor's brother is the school... more »
September 3, 2013 4:27 PM
MCALLEN - The detention hearing for the Progreso mayor, his brother and father was delayed on Tuesday after a legal move by prosecutors.
Prosecutors say Mayor Omar Vela, his brother Michael Vela and his father Jose Guadalupe Vela used their positions to demand kickbacks. Michael Vela is the Progreso... more »
August 28, 2013 7:41 PM
PROGRESO - Residents in the small town of Progreso said they were in shock when federal agents swooped in to arrest their mayor and two of his relatives.
Progreso Mayor Omar Loenel Vela, 35, his brother Michael Vela, 29, and their father, Jose Guadalupe Vela, 64, are behind bars... more »
August 23, 2013 3:29 PM
BROWNSVILLE - A jury found Lucio Moya not guilty in a corruption case. Jurors had been deliberating on the case since Wednesday.
The federal deputy marshal was accused of exposing the identity of an undercover agent. Investigators said Moya had passed the license plate number of an undercover ICE... more »
August 23, 2013 12:03 PM
BROWNSVILLE - A jury is deciding whether a federal deputy marshal is guilty in a corruption case.
Lucio Moya is accused of exposing the identity of an undercover agent. Court documents show Moya passed the license plate number of an undercover ICE agent to his father. His father was... more »
August 21, 2013 10:02 AM
BROWNSVILLE - A judge sentenced former district judge Abel Limas to six years in prison for one count of racketeering. Limas was also ordered to forfeit $257,000 in property he owns and pay more than $6 million in restitution.
Limas was the focus of a corruption case at the... more »
August 13, 2013 8:56 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - A jury has found Attorney Eddie Lucio not guilty on all counts after three hours of deliberation.
Lucio, no relation to the lawmakers by the same name, had been accused of five counts of racketeering, bribery and abuse of power. His case stemmed from the former... more »
August 6, 2013 10:47 PM
EDINBURG - Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino on Tuesday spoke about the Panama Unit corruption scandal.
Trevino spoke with CHANNEL 5 NEWS after the conviction of one of his former deputies, and the previous guilty pleas entered by other of his former subordinates and his own son.
Trevino... more »
August 6, 2013 7:36 PM
McALLEN - A retired Hidalgo County sheriff's deputy on Tuesday was convicted on corruption charges. He was the only one from a group of former lawmen to go to trial in a corruption ploy involving a former drug interdiction task force.
A jury found Jorge Garza guilty of conspiracy... more »
August 6, 2013 4:33 PM
BROWNSVILLE - Defense attorneys want to delay the sentencing of a man convicted in a corruption case linked to former state District Judge Abel Limas.
Attorney March Rosenthal is awaiting sentencing after being convicted on 13 counts of bribery and racketeering. He was found guilty in February.
Rosenthal... more »
August 6, 2013 12:42 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - Jury selection started in Corpus Christi for the trial of an attorney charged with corruption.
Eddie Lucio, who is not related to the state lawmakers with the same name, was charged with five federal counts of racketeering, bribery and abuse of power. He's accused of running... more »
August 5, 2013 8:01 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - Jury selection will begin Tuesday for the trial of an Austin attorney charged in a corruption case involving Brownsville attorneys and judicial officials.
Attorney Eddie Lucio is facing five federal counts of racketeering, bribery and abuse of power. He is accused in the former state District... more »
July 31, 2013 7:23 PM
McALLEN - A self-admitted corrupt deputy on Wednesday gave specific details about a scheme where crooked lawmen would steal drug loads from smugglers and then sell them to traffickers.
The confessions were the highlight of the second day of testimony in the trial of former Hidalgo County Deputy Jorge... more »
July 30, 2013 12:42 PM
McALLEN - Testimony is under way in the trial of a former sheriff deputy accused of corruption.
Prosecutors claim Jorge Garza took drugs from smugglers and resold them to traffickers.
Judge Randy Crane denied a request by Garza's attorneys for a continuance in the case. The judge ruled... more »
July 22, 2013 7:44 PM
BROWNSVILLE - A judge granted a change of venue to an attorney implicated in the former district judge Abel Limas corruption case.
The judge granted attorney Eddie Lucio's change of venue to Corpus Christi. Lucio is charged with five counts of racketeering, bribery and abuse of power.
Lucio... more »
July 18, 2013 5:21 PM
EDINBURG - A judge has ordered former Hidalgo County Precinct 1 Commissioner Sylvia Handy to pay restitution for the money she funneled out of county coffers.
The judge ordered her to pay $152,000 in restitution. She also will spend the next seven years in probation.
State officials had... more »
July 11, 2013 12:52 PM
McALLEN - A former lawman implicated in the Panama Unit drug interdiction task force scandal has pleaded guilty to one drug conspiracy charge.
James Phill Flores, a retired Hidalgo County sheriff's deputy, is the eighth defendant to plead guilty in the case.
Prosecutors said Garza worked with two... more »
June 28, 2013 7:32 PM
BROWNSVILLE - A top assistant for a Cameron County commissioner is facing corruption charges stemming from a civil service exam.
A grand jury indicted Raul Salazar, 59, on two counts of abuse of official capacity and one count of tempering with federal records.
Salazar works for Cameron County... more »
June 4, 2013 4:28 PM
BROWNSVILLE - Attorney Eddie Lucio filed a motion for a change of venue in his corruption trial.
Lucio faces five counts of racketeering and extortion. He was former Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos' law partner. The pair is linked to the former state District Judge Abel Limas corruption... more »
May 31, 2013 1:05 PM
EDINBURG - Dozens of criminal cases are being tossed out of court after this week's guilty pleas in the Panama Unit corruption investigation.
Former law enforcement officers Jonathan Treviño, Salvador Arguello, Claudio Mata and Eric Alcantar pleaded guilty to one count of drug conspiracy. Hidalgo County District Attorney Rene... more »
May 29, 2013 8:09 PM
EDINBURG - Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino on Wednesday reacted to the guilty pleas entered by his son, three of his former deputies and a former Mission police officer. The men pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy charges.
The men admitted in federal court that they took drug loads from... more »
May 28, 2013 7:34 PM
BROWNSVILLE - The conviction of Cameron County's former District Attorney Armando Villalobos on corruption charges has called into question cases handled during his time in office.
Federal authorities launched an investigation into corruption at the DA's office after the sentencing of convicted murderer Amit Livingston.
Livingston confessed to... more »
May 23, 2013 4:38 PM
BROWNSVILLE - The former Cameron County district attorney testified in federal court today. Armando Villalobos is charged with several counts of bribery and racketeering.
He said he was only doing his job and helping his family. He's accused of bribing former judge Abel Limas and abusing his power as... more »
May 22, 2013 12:46 PM
BROWNSVILLE - Federal prosecutors rested their case in the corruption trial of the former Cameron County district attorney.
Armando Villalobos is charged with several counts of racketeering and bribery. The charges are in connection to an FBI investigation into legal corruption involving former district judge Abel Limas.
Defense... more »
May 14, 2013 4:29 PM
BROWNSVILLE - Former state District Judge Abel Limas finished a second day of testimony in the trial against former Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos.
Villalobos is being tried on charges of racketeering and bribery.
Limas on Tuesday drew fire from defense attorneys. They asked the former judge... more »
May 13, 2013 4:28 PM
BROWNSVILLE - Cross examination is underway in the corruption case against former Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos.
He's charged with several counts of racketeering and extortion. Opening arguments were given this morning, and the first witnesses took the stand.
Prosecutors claim Villalobos abused his office through bribery,... more »
May 10, 2013 7:21 PM
BROWNSVILLE - Testimony will get underway Monday in the corruption trial against former Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos.
Villalobos is charged with several counts of racketeering and extortion. Prosecutors said he abused his office through bribery, extortion and favoritism.
Villalobos maintains his innocence.
Twelve jurors and... more »
May 9, 2013 8:20 PM
EDINBURG - Former Hidalgo County Precinct 1 Commissioner Sylvia Handy put her fate in the hands of a judge Thursday.
The judge will decide if she is guilty of using tax money to pay people who showed up on the county payrolls but did not work for the county.... more »
April 23, 2013 8:28 PM
RIO GRANDE CITY - Two Starr County jailers are behind bars accused of violating the laws they swore to uphold.
One of the jailers was arrested in March and the second this week. "We do have a problem," Starr County Judge Eloy Vera said.
Vera said the problem... more »
April 17, 2013 5:22 PM
BROWNSVILLE - A federal agent pleaded not guilty to falsifying records. The plea was entered Wednesday in a federal courtroom in Brownsville.
Marco Rodriguez, 40, is accused of lying about two ongoing investigations. He was indicted last week.
Rodriguez is free on bond. His trial is set for... more »
April 12, 2013 4:02 PM
RIO GRANDE CITY - A former Starr County sheriff's deputy faces up to 20 years in prison for bribery.
Romeo Javier Ramirez pleaded guilty to the charges. He admitted to accepting bribes from drug smugglers. Ramirez surrendered to authorities last month in Houston.
Court records show he accepted... more »
April 12, 2013 4:00 PM
McALLEN - The members of a former drug interdiction unit pleaded not guilty to drug conspiracy charges.
Seven of the nine former members of Hidalgo County's disbanded Panama Unit entered the pleas in a federal court Friday in McAllen.
The former lawmen are accused in a corruption case.... more »
April 2, 2013 4:18 PM
McALLEN - A former Hidalgo County sheriff's deputy went before a judge Tuesday in a federal corruption case.
Jorge Garza was arrested Monday. Federal agents said Garza and fellow deputy J.P. Flores were paid $10,000 to conduct fake traffic stops, seize drug loads and turn them over to Fernando... more »
February 28, 2013 10:23 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI (AP) - A jury on Thursday convicted an Austin personal injury attorney of racketeering charges as part of a federal investigation into judicial bribery. The verdict announced in Corpus Christi concluded the four-week trial of lawyer Marc Rosenthal. Rosenthal was found guilty of 13 counts including racketeering conspiracy,... more »
January 31, 2013 5:29 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - A jury has been selected for a trial linked to the former state district Judge Abel Limas corruption scandal.
Marc Rosenthal will be the second defendant tried in the case. The trial is set to begin Monday in a Corpus Christi courtroom.
Rosenthal was indicted... more »
January 9, 2013 4:25 PM
McALLEN - A federal grand jury on Wednesday indicted four former members of Hidalgo County's now-disbanded Panama Unit.
The grand jury returned a six-count indictment against Jonathan Trevino, Alexis Rigoberto Espinoza, Fabian Rodriguez and Gerardo Mendoza-Duran.
The indictment includes one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent... more »
December 14, 2012 10:31 PM
BROWNSVILLE - Cameron County sheriff's deputies participated in the investigation that netted four allegedly corrupt Rio Grande Valley lawmen.
Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio said the allegations of wrongdoing are a black eye for the local law enforcement community.
"We need to get rid of people who have... more »
December 5, 2012 1:59 AM
BERLIN (AP) An international watchdog group says a new survey shows the countries worst hit by the European financial crisis are also seen as among the most corrupt in the European Union. Transparency International's annual Corruption Perceptions Index released Wednesday shows Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece with the lowest scores... more »
November 3, 2012 9:04 AM
ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) - The mayor of Mexico's resort city of Acapulco says he will fire 500 police officers because they failed tests used to identify corrupt officers. Mayor Luis Aburto Walton says he will ask the federal government to send in federal agents to help what is left of... more »
November 2, 2012 1:06 PM
MEXICO CITY - Mexican officials are questioning 23 police officers about their alleged ties to drug cartels.
The officers were detained Thursday in a suburb of Mexico City.
Mexico's federal government acknowledged corruption continues to be a major problem. Most people earn low wages.
Another high-profile arrest... more »
October 3, 2012 5:19 PM
WESLACO - Customs and Border Protection leaders are increasing efforts to weed out corruption from their ranks.
The agency administered polygraph examinations to incoming employees in compliance with the Anti-Border Corruption Act of 2010. The law went into effect on 2011. The law requires that all CBP law enforcement... more »
August 16, 2012 5:19 PM
EDINBURG - Attorneys for Sylvia Handy today said the state should dismiss charges against her and asked a judge to drop the case.
The former Hidalgo County Precinct 1 commissioner and her attorneys claimed she is being subjected to double jeopardy. They said she already has been charged and... more »
July 25, 2012 7:07 PM
BROWNSVILLE - A personal injury lawyer from Austin implicated in a corruption scandal will file a complaint alleging prosecutors violate attorney-client privileges.
Marc Rosenthal was indicted last summer on 13 counts of bribery as part of former state District Judge Abel Limas' corruption investigation. Rosenthal is accused to paying... more »
July 12, 2012 12:23 PM
BROWNSVILLE - Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos has requested another delay in his federal trial for corruption.
Villalobos was indicted on May 7 on 10 counts of extortion and honest services fraud. He is accused of allowing a convicted murderer out of prison on bail and getting a... more »
June 22, 2012 6:53 PM
BROWNSVILLE - Hundreds of court rulings could be called into question after the Texas Supreme Court overturned a civil case heard by former state District Judge Abel Limas.
The case stems from a 2008 campaign ad published in two local newspapers. Four men claimed the display was libelous, and... more »
June 19, 2012 4:06 PM
BROWNSVILLE - Jose Manuel "Meme" Longoria, the convicted middleman in a corruption scandal in Cameron County, was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Longoria, 52, was sentenced for his role in the FBI's public corruption investigation of former 404th District Court Judge Abel Corral Limas.
Longoria, a resident... more »
June 19, 2012 1:13 PM
BROWNSVILLE - Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos on Friday filed a petition to have charges against him dropped.
The criminal case against Armando Villalobos stems from former state District Judge Abel Limas' corruption case.
Villalobos is facing charges of running a criminal enterprise, bribery, extortion, racketeering, honest... more »
June 18, 2012 4:05 PM
BROWNSVILLE - A Port Isabel attorney accused of paying kickbacks to a former state district judge was convicted Monday on seven charges stemming from a corruption investigation in Brownsville.
A jury found Ray Marchan guilty on all seven charges he faced. He is the first of 12 people named... more »
June 8, 2012 5:36 PM
TAMAULIPAS - Former Tamaulipas Governor Tomas Yarrington is denying allegations that he took money from the Gulf and the Zetas drug cartels and channeled it through front men to buy properties in Texas.
He claims the allegations are part of an effort by the administration of President Felipe Calderon... more »
June 5, 2012 12:15 PM
BROWNSVILLE - Testimony began today in the racketeering and conspiracy trial of attorney Ray Marchan of Port Isabel.
Marchan is accused of paying more than $11,000 to former State District Judge Abel Limas in exchange for favorable rulings.
Marchan claims the money was given to the judge as... more »
May 30, 2012 5:16 PM
BROWNSVILLE - A former investigator for the Cameron County District Attorney's Office was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison. Jaime Munivez was convicted in connection to a bribery scheme involving a former state district judge.
The sentence was announced almost six months after Muniz pleaded... more »
May 3, 2012 4:46 PM
HARLINGEN - A former state representative involved with a Rio Grande Valley judge corruption case has been disbarred.
Jim Solis of Harlingen pleaded guilty about a year ago to bribing former state district judge Abel Limas. He's still awaiting sentencing on that federal case.
Yesterday, the State Bar... more »
February 24, 2012 6:58 PM
BROWNSVILLE - More Brownsville school leaders are responding to an audit that said there was "systemic corruption at practically every level in the past."
Three BISD board members sat down to talk to CHANNEL 5 NEWS about the 57-page report that states money was misspent throughout BISD when Brett... more »
February 23, 2012 11:02 AM
BROWNSVILLE - Forensic auditors say they found "systemic corruption at practically every level within past BISD management."
The 57-page forensic audit examined the Brownsville Independent School District for three school years. It states money was misspent throughout BISD when Brett Springston was superintendent. In the transportation and maintenance departments,... more »
February 14, 2012 11:46 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... more »
January 31, 2012 7:01 PM
A defendant in the Abel Limas corruption case won't go to trial this week.
Ray Marchan is accused of giving Limas $11,000 in bribes in exchange for favorable rulings from former Limas. The former state district judge pleaded guilty last year in his racketeering case.
Marchan is asking... more »
January 24, 2012 7:28 PM
SAN DIEGO - A former Mercedes ISD superintendent is now facing corruption charges in San Diego, California. The district attorney says a yearlong investigation showed Dr. Jesus Gandara and four other people from the Sweetwater Union School District accepted bribes for multi-million dollar school construction projects.
Gandara was the... more »
November 29, 2011 9:53 PM
BROWNSVILLE - Another person involved with the Limas corruption scandal will plead out. Forty-seven-year-old Jaime Munivez is accused of getting $10,000 in exchange for providing a fraudulent drug forfeiture document. Federal prosecutors say he did that when he worked for the Cameron County District Attorney's Office three years ago. Investigators... more »