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June 22, 2011

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Another Allegedly Involved in Former Judge Limas’ Criminal Enterprise Indicted

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Francisco “Pancho” Cisneros, a bail bondsman, has been indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiring to and aiding and abetting the extortion of money from persons with cases pending in former state District Court Judge Abel Corral Limas’ court, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today.

A two-count indictment charging Cisneros, 46, of Brownsville, with conspiracy to commit extortion and aiding and abetting extortion was returned under seal by a grand jury sitting in Brownsville on Tuesday, June 21, 2011, and unsealed today following Cisneros’ appearance before a U.S. Magistrate Judge. Cisneros was arrested today at his home by investigating agents and has been ordered temporarily detained pending a bond hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Felix Recio on Friday, June 23, at 9:00 a.m.

According to allegations in the indictment, Cisneros allegedly transferred bribe money to former Judge Limas while he presided over the 404th Judicial District Court to change the terms of a defendant’s bond from a cash or surety to a personal recognizance bond in a matter pending in Limas’ court.

Cisneros 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 if convicted of either count charged. It is expected that the case will be set for trial later this year before Judge Andrew Hanen.

This case was investigated by FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Brownsville Police Department. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Wynne and Oscar Ponce are prosecuting the case.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.