Non-Indian Man from Chama Pleads Guilty to Assaulting Jicarilla Apache Woman
ALBUQUERQUE – Alberto Acevedo, Jr., 60, an attorney in San Antonio, Texas, pleaded guilty this morning to a bribery charge in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, announced Steven C. Yarbrough, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico, and Aaron C. Rouse, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s San Antonio Division.
Acevedo entered his guilty plea to a felony information charging him with bribery involving a program receiving federal funds pursuant to a plea agreement. The information charges that between March 2013 and Dec. 2013, Acevedo corruptly influenced a state court judge by giving him things of value. During that period, the state court judge was agent of the State of Texas and Bexar County, Texas, government entities that received federal assistance in 2013. The state court judge referred to in the information resigned from the bench on Feb. 14, 2014.
In announcing Acevedo’s guilty plea, Acting U.S. Attorney Steven C. Yarbrough said, “Fair and impartial judgment by those entrusted to carry out the laws is the bedrock of our legal system. We cannot and will not allow the public’s faith in our legal system to be shaken by judicial corruption.”
“Corruption in the courtroom erodes public confidence in the fair prosecution and resolution of cases and threatens to undermine our judicial system,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse of the FBI. “The FBI is committed to aggressively investigating and prosecuting those who are motivated by greed and who try to advance their personal agendas through bribery.”
In his plea agreement, Acevedo admitted giving gifts, payments and other things of value totaling more than $6,655 to the state court judge in exchange for favorable judicial rulings that benefitted him and his clients. Acevedo’s bribes to the state court judge included cash, car repairs, arranging the sale of a vehicle belonging to the state court judge, and registering a vehicle purchased by the state court judge. According to the plea agreement, the state court judge provided the favorable judicial rulings requested by Acevedo, including lenient sentences and less restrictive conditions of release for Acevedo’s clients.
At sentencing, Acevedo faces a maximum ten-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine. Acevedo was released on bond pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.
Acting U.S. Attorney Steven C. Yarbrough praised the investigative work of the San Antonio Division of the FBI, which he noted is ongoing.
The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark A. Saltman and Brock E. Taylor of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Mexico.