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July 15, 2009

FEDERAL PROBATION OFFICER CHARGED WITH DRUG TRAFFICKING AND BRIBERY

(McALLEN, Texas) – A United States Probation Officer has been arrested and charged with drug trafficking and bribery, 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, was arrested and charged on Wednesday, July 15, 2009. He is expected to make an initial appearance before United States Peter Ormsby on Thursday, July 16, 2009, at 10:30 a.m.  Mora is accused of of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance and bribery.

According to allegations in the criminal complaint, Mora received bribe payments from members of a drug trafficking organization to provide sensitive and confidential information from government records. It is alleged before the drug trafficking organization considered hiring drivers for their tractor-trailers to transport its drug loads, it would provide personal information – full name, commercial driver’s license number and date of birth – to Mora, who in turn would obtained confidential and sensitive information from government sources about whether the prospective driver was on probation or supervised release or had any outstanding arrest warrants. If Mora reported no such warrants or supervision, the drivers would be hired. On the other hand, the complaint alleges that on at least two occasions in May and June 2009, Mora allegedly advised the drug organization not to hire three drivers telling a member of the drug trafficking organization that two of the drivers were undercover agents and the third was one of his own supervisees and and an FBI informant. In June 2009, Mora is alleged to have received $5,000 from a member of the drug trafficking organization for providing the confidential information regarding the third driver.

During the time period in which Mora is alleged to have provided information - February 2009 to June 2009 - about drivers to transport drug loads for the organization, investigating agents seized approximately 2,000 kilograms of marijuana and 335 kilograms of cocaine.

The charged drug trafficking offense carries a punishment of no less than 10 years up to life imprisonment and millions of dollars in fines, upon conviction. The bribery charge carries a maximum punishment of 15 years imprisonment and thousands in fines.

The investigation leading to the charges against Mora was initiated by the 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 Linda Requenes-Rossborough and Anibal J. Alaniz.

A criminal complaint is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.

 

 

 

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