Federal authorities have charged 52-year-old Veracruz, Mexico businessman Francisco Colorado Cessa, his son, 25–year-old Francisco Colorado Cessa, Jr., and a business associate, 52–year-old Ramon Segura Flores for attempting to bribe a federal judge announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman and FBI Special Agent in Charge Armando Fernandez, San Antonio Division.
On May 9, 2013, a federal jury convicted Colorado Cessa of conspiring to commit money laundering for his role in a complex scheme to launder millions of dollars in illicit Los Zetas drug trafficking proceeds to purchase, train, breed, and race American quarter horses in the United States. Yesterday afternoon, Colorado Cessa was sentenced to the statutory maximum of 20 years in federal prison.
A federal criminal complaint filed yesterday charges Colorado Cessa, Colorado Cessa, Jr. and Segura Flores with conspiracy to bribe a federal judge. The complaint alleges that over the past couple of months the defendants conspired to pay a $1.2 million bribe to a federal judge in order to secure a reduced sentence for Colorado Cessa. According to the criminal complaint, at no time before or during this investigation was the judge involved in the alleged criminal activity.
“We have said from the beginning that this case represents our commitment to keep the violence and corruption associated with Mexican drug cartels out of the United States. The sentences handed down yesterday emphasize our determination to seek the most severe penalties for importing the brand of corruption that has become endemic in Mexico. The latest allegation, if proven, demonstrates that individuals associated with the most violent drug cartel believe that they can corrupt what we hold as the bedrock of American justice – the United States Courts. This community should rest assured that we will stop at nothing to send the message that we are one step ahead of them and if they continue to try to function as they do in Mexico, we will find them, we will stop them, and we will do whatever it takes to ensure that they are punished to the full extent of the law,” stated United States Attorney Robert Pitman.
FBI agents arrested Colorado Cessa, Jr., and Segura Flores yesterday evening without incident. All three remain in federal custody at this time. Initial appearances are scheduled for 2:00 pm this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Andrew Austin in Austin.
Upon conviction, the defendants face up to five years in federal prison and a maximum $250,000 fine. This case is being investigated by the FBI.
A criminal complaint is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.