Two Crystal City brothers who were former elected officials pleaded guilty to federal bribery including city contracts kickback scheme charges will be facing up to 10-years in a federal prison.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
August 2, 2016
Del Rio, Texas – Two brothers from Crystal City are facing up to 10-years in a federal prison after pleading guilty before U.S. District Judge Alia Moses for federal bribery and a kickback scheme on city contracts while in elected office. Former Crystal City Pro-Temp Mayor Rogelio Mata, 43, and Former Councilman Roel Mata, 44, entered guilty pleas on Thursday, July 28, each defendant is facing 10-years in a federal prison, up to $250,000 in fines, a monetary judgement of $12,291.71 and nearly $1,000 in cash forfeiture, according to United States Attorney Richard Durbin, Jr. from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Western Texas.
According to U.S. Attorney Durbin, Jr. in a press release, by pleading guilty, the defendants admittedly used their official positions since February 2015 to enrich themselves by soliciting and accepting cash bribes from persons seeking to do business in Crystal City. The defendants also admitted that they voted in 2015 to award a contract to a person who had provided them with cash bribes.
Rogelio Mata and Roel Mata are the second and third defendants to enter guilty pleas in this case. On May 26, 2016, 38-year-old businessman Ngoc Tri Nguyen pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery involving an entity receiving over $10,000 in federal funds. By pleading guilty, Nguyen admittedly paid $6,000 in bribes in exchange for various official acts from his co-defendants. Nguyen, who faces up to ten years in federal prison, is scheduled for sentencing at 3:00 p.m. on November 9, 2016, in Del Rio before U.S. Dostrict Judge Alia Moses.
Former City Attorney and City Manager William James Jonas, age 54, former Crystal City Mayor Ricardo Lopez, age 40, and former City Councilman Gilbert Urrabazo, age 45, all remain under indictment charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bribery involving an entity receiving over $10,000 in federal funds. Jonas also faces three substantive federal programs bribery charges. Lopez and Urrabazo also faces one substantive federal programs bribery charge. The matter is currently scheduled for Docket Call on October 11, 2016, according to U.S. Attorney Durbin, Jr. news release.