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Press Release

Defendant In Los Zetas Money Laundering Case Sentenced To Maximum Federal Prison Term For Conspiring To Bribe Judge

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

In Austin this morning, 53-year-old Veracruz, Mexico businessman Francisco Antonio Colorado-Cessa (aka “Pancho”), was sentenced to the maximum five years in federal prison for attempting to bribe a federal judge announced Acting United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs and Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Steve McCollough.

This five-year prison term will be added to Colorado-Cessa’s maximum 20-year federal prison term 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.

On March 12, 2004, Colorado-Cessa, his son, Francisco Agustin Colorado Cebado (aka “Panchito”), and his business partner, Ramon Segura Flores, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to bribe a federal judge.  All three admitted to conspiring last year to pay a $1.2 million bribe to a federal judge in order to secure a reduced sentence for Colorado-Cessa in the money laundering case.  According to court records, at no time before or during this investigation was the judge involved in the alleged criminal activity.

“A fair and impartial criminal justice system is one of the cornerstones of our democracy, and it is not for sale.  The FBI will continue to fiercely protect it against criminals who think they can buy their way to unjust freedom,” stated FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs.

On July 22, 2014, Colorado Cebado and Segura Flores were each sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine for their roles in the scheme.

This case was investigated by the FBI and IRS-Criminal Investigation.

Updated February 4, 2016