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Press Release

La Joya trustee convicted of extortion

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

McALLEN, Texas – A 48-year-old Sullivan City man has admitted to threatening to cancel a contract if he did not receive increased monetary payments, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.

Oscar Salinas aka “Coach” pleaded guilty today.

As part of the plea, Salinas admitted he had an agreement with Jacinto Garza, CEO of L&G Engineering. Salinas was to receive payments through his company from L&G.

Further, La Joya Independent School District (LJISD) had an insurance contract with Ruth Villareal Insurance. Salinas learned Garza was politically supporting Everardo Villarreal, a candidate for Hidalgo County commissioner and Ruth Villareal’s husband.

Salinas threatened to terminate the contract with Ruth Villarreal Insurance if the agreement with Garza was not re-negotiated for additional monetary payments. Garza eventually terminated the payment arrangement with Salinas.

Salinas subsequently cast a vote to terminate LJISD’s contract with Ruth Villarreal Insurance.  

U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez accepted the plea and set sentencing for June 16. At that time, Salinas faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

He was permitted to remain on bond pending that hearing.

The FBI conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Department of Agriculture, Texas Department of Insurance and McAllen Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Roberto Lopez Jr. is prosecuting the case.

Updated March 3, 2022

Public Corruption