A 13 year sentence was handed down to former Cameron County District Attorney, Armando R. Villalobos Tuesday for his involvement in a racketeering scheme he allegedly ran from his south Texas office.
Villalobos, along with a former Texas judge, and lawyers were convicted of accepting bribes. They did this in exchange for court favors. Some, including Villalobos, are also accused aiding a murdered. When a convicted murderer was not immediately taken into custody his $500,000 bond was forfeited. The cash bond was split among Villalobos, sitting judge Lima, Hermila Hernandez, a former law partner and the family of the victim.
The victim’s mother stated that the family speaks little English and did not understand that the plea agreement would allow her daughter’s killer to go free, according to reports in the Brownsville Herald.
Evidence revealed that from October 2006 through May 2012, Villalobos was involved in a scheme to generate illegal income through bribery, extortion, favoritism and kickbacks. He was convicted of one count of violating the RICO act and five counts of extortion. He was acquitted on two of these counts.
U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen also ordered that Villalobos pay over $300,000 in restitution and fines and complete three years of supervised release after he completes his prison term, according to an FBI press release.
Prosecutors in this case sought the maximum sentence, while defense attorneys for Villalobos asked for probation and home confinement.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Surovic, accused Villalobos of “selling Justice” and of undermining the trust his local constituants had in the justice system.
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