Former Law Enforcement Officer Admits to Extortion
BROWNSVILLE, Texas – A 32-year-old former La Feria deputy constable has entered a guilty plea to extortion under color of official right, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
At the time of the offense, Armando Gonzalez was a Precinct 5 deputy constable.
While serving as a deputy constable, he admitted he received a $50 Bass Pro Shop gift card in exchange for conducting a license plate check on a vehicle for someone he personally knew. Gonzalez also knew that individual had been involved in narcotics trafficking. Gonzalez spent the gift card a few days later.
According to the plea agreement, Gonzalez also committed another extortion act. Gonzalez admitted that on May 26, 2016, at the request of the same person, he caused another license plate check to occur on another car. On June 8, 2016, Gonzalez received $40 in cash in exchange for conducting that second check.
U.S. District Judge Rolando Olvera will impose sentencing Dec. 18, 2019. At that time, Gonzalez faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine. Gonzalez was permitted to remain on bond pending sentencing.
The FBI, Border Patrol, Drug Enforcement Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and Cameron County District Attorney’s Office conducted the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Operation dubbed Something About Maria. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jody Young and Oscar Ponce are prosecuting the case.