Former La Villa Corrections Officer Sentenced To Prison
McALLEN, Texas - Jorge Luis Sandoval, 32, of Pharr, will soon be serving a federal prison sentence for smuggling two cellular telephones into the East Hidalgo Detention Center for an inmate, United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Sandoval pleaded guilty to one count of bribery on July 3, 2012.
Today, Chief U.S. District Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa, who accepted the guilty plea, handed Sandoval a 12-month and one-day prison term which will be followed by two years of supervised release. In handing down the sentence, Judge Hinojosa found that Sandoval was a “public official” under the law and as defined within the United States Sentencing Guidelines. The Judge noted that “by taking a bribe and facilitating the use of the phone” based on greed, Sandoval demonstrated “a total disrespect for the law.” He further noted that “one of the worst damages that comes from a situation like this,” when someone takes on the responsibilities that come with this job (correctional officer), is that “it gives the public the impression that everyone who takes on this job is willing to do the same” and “it hurts the reputation of those that work for the government and law enforcement.”
Sandoval pleaded guilty to the sole count of bribery, admitting to accepting a bribe while working as a corrections officer at the East Hildago Detention Center in La Villa 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.
Sandoval was allowed to self-surrender to the U.S. Marshals Service on January 28, 2013, to begin serving his sentence, pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The investigation leading to the charge in this case was conducted by the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service. Assistant United States Attorney Casey N. MacDonald prosecuted the case. AUSA Linda Requenez handled the sentencing hearing today.