Federal Probation Officer Sentenced to Prison for Drug Trafficking and Bribery
|Sept. 26, 2011|
BROWNSVILLE, Texas – Former United States probation officer Armando Mora, 38, of Edinburg, Texas, has been sentenced to 168 months imprisonment for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance and 168 months for bribery of a public official, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno announced today. The sentences, imposed by U.S. District Judge Hilda G. Tagle at a hearing held today in federal court in Brownsville, are to be served concurrently and will be followed by a five-year-term of supervised release.
Mora was charged by indictment in August 2009 with conspiracy, possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and bribery of a public official. On Dec. 2, 2009, he pleaded guilty to the conspiracy and the bribery charges admitting that while assigned as a probation officer with the Rio Grande office of the U.S. Probation Office, he accepted bribe payments from members of a drug trafficking organization to provide sensitive and confidential information from government records.
The government’s evidence proved that before the drug trafficking organization considered hiring drivers for the transportation of its drug loads, the names of the individuals were provided to Mora. Mora, 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.
During the time period in which Mora provided information - February 2009 to July 2009 - about drivers to transport drug loads for the organization, investigating agents seized approximately 1,915 kilograms of marijuana and 264 kilograms of cocaine.
Mora, who had been permitted to remain on bond pending his sentencing hearing, was allowed to continue on that bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be designated in the near future.
Agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Homeland Security Investigations and the FBI investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorneys Anibal J. Alaniz and Linda Requénez prosecuted the case.