Former District Attorney Investigator Arrested in Investigation Related to Judge Limas
|Aug, 24, 2011|
BROWNSVILLE, Texas - A former Cameron County District Attorney’s Office investigator, who was also former state Judge Abel Limas’s bailiff, has been indicted and now arrested, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. The sealed indictment charging Jaime Munivez, 47, of San Benito, Texas, with five criminal counts arising out of the Abel Corral Limas public corruption investigation, was unsealed today following his arrest this morning by FBI agents with the assistance of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Border Patrol, Brownsville Police Department and the Cameron County Sheriff’s Department.
The indictment, returned by a federal grand jury on July 19, 2011, charges Munivez with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841 and 846, and with conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right and extortion under color of official right, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1951 and 2 (The Hobbs Act).
According to allegations in the indictment, Munivez served as an investigator for the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office. Criminal charges arose from his alleged activities during his time as an investigator with the District Attorney’s Office from October 2007 to February 2008, including the receipt of $10,000 in exchange for a fraudulent drug forfeiture document provided by Munivez to Jose Manuel Longoria in an effort to assist certain individuals whom they believed were engaged in narcotics trafficking and related activities. Munivez served former Judge Limas as a bailiff for the 404th District Court before joining the District Attorney’s Office.
Longoria is currently charged in a separate indictment with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841 and 846, and with conspiracy to commit extortion under color of official right and extortion under color of official right, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1951 and 2 (The Hobbs Act). He is currently scheduled for trial Oct. 6, 2011.
Munivez made his initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Recio who set $75,000 bond and scheduled an arraignment hearing for Sept. 1, at 1:30 p.m.
Munivez faces a maximum prison term of 20 years, a fine of up to $250,000 and a term of supervised release of up to five years on the Hobbs Act counts, if convicted. He faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life and a fine of up to $10 million if convicted of the drug conspiracy charge. It is expected that the case will be set for trial later this year before U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen.
The charges are the result of an ongoing investigation being conducted by the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Brownsville Police Department. Munivez is the 9th person charged to date as a result of this investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Wynne, Oscar Ponce, and Jody Young are prosecuting this case.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.