Department of Justice Logo and United States Attorney's Office Header

July 3, 2012

(713) 567-9388

Former La Villa Corrections Officer Convicted of Smuggling Cell Phone to Federal Inmate

McALLEN, Texas - Jorge Luis Sandoval, 31, of Pharr, Texas, has been convicted on a bribery charge for smuggling a cellular phone into the East Hildago Detention Center, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.

Sandoval pleaded guilty to one count of bribery at a hearing held earlier today before Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa. At the hearing, Sandoval admitted to accepting a bribe while working as a corrections officer at the East Hildago Detention Center in La Villa, Texas under the authority of the U.S Marshals Service.  Sandoval used his official position to enrich himself by accepting a cash payment from an individual acting on behalf of a federal inmate in exchange for smuggling a cellular telephone into the prison on two occasions.

Judge Hinojosa has set sentencing for Oct. 18, 2012, at which time Sandoval faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine. He will remain in custody pending that hearing.

The investigation leading to the charges in this case was conducted by the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service. Assistant United States Attorney Casey N. MacDonald is  prosecuting the case.