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Dec. 2, 2009

FEDERAL PROBATION OFFICER PLEADS GUILTY TO DRUG TRAFFICKING AND BRIBERY

(BROWNSVILLE, Texas) – A United States probation officer has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance and bribery of a public official, United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today.

Armando Mora, 36, of Edinburg, Texas, assigned to the Rio Grande City office of the United States Probation Office, pleaded guilty to two counts contained in the indictment at a hearing held today in federal court in Brownsville before U.S. District Judge Hilda G. Tagle. Mora is facing a punishment of no less than 10 years up to life imprisonment and millions of dollars in fines for the drug trafficking offense and a maximum punishment of 15 years imprisonment and thousands in fines for the bribery offense. His sentencing hearing has been scheduled for March 2, 2010, at 1:30 p.m.

Indicted in August 2009 with conspiracy, possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and bribery of a public official, today Mora admitted to receiving bribe payments from members of a drug trafficking organization to provide sensitive and confidential information from government records. Before the drug trafficking organization considered hiring drivers for the transportation of its drug loads, names of the individuals were provided to Mora who, in turn, would obtain confidential and sensitive information about whether the prospective driver had any active arrest warrants as well as their criminal history and driver’s license information. Relying upon the information Mora provided, a member of the drug trafficking organization would then decide whether or not to hire the driver(s). In July 2009, Mora received $5,000 from a member of the drug trafficking organization for providing confidential information regarding an individual Mora was supervising and who was being considered as a driver for the drug trafficking organization.

Between February 2009 to July 2009 while Mora was providing information to the organization about drivers to transport drug loads, investigating agents seized approximately 1,915 kilograms of marijuana and 264 kilograms of cocaine from the organization.

Mora has been permitted to remain on bond pending his sentencing hearing.

The investigation leading to the arrest and subsequent indictment of Mora was initiated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in February 2009 and continued as a joint effort with the FBI.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Anibal J. Alaniz and Linda Requenez Rossborough.

 

 

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