In Del Rio, Texas, Eduardo De La Garza, owner of Rio Bravo Construction in Eagle Pass, faces up to ten years in federal prison after pleading guilty this morning to paying a bribe to an agent of an organization receiving federal funds in connection with an alleged bribery, kickback and bid-rigging scheme in Maverick County announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman and FBI Special Agent in Charge Armando Fernandez.
Appearing before United States Magistrate Judge Victor Garcia, De La Garza admitted that in May 2011, he submitted a $19,800 bid to Maverick County to construct a concrete pad at the intersection of Winsor Avenue and Bianca Road in Precinct 4. DeLaGarza further admitted that he has never constructed the pad even though he received two checks from Maverick County--a $9,900 check to commence work and then $9,900 check for the completion of the concrete pad. Furthermore, DeLaGarza admitted that he made a cash payment to an employee working in the Maverick County Auditor’s Office for each check he received. According to court records, both checks were issued to De La Garza without undergoing the appropriate internal review process by Maverick County.
DeLaGarza remains on bond pending sentencing which has yet to be scheduled.
This ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Texas Department of Public Safety. Individuals who have first-hand information about corruption, fraud, or bribery related to Maverick County are urged to contact the FBI at (210) 225-6741. Assistant United States Attorney Michael Galdo is prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government.
In 2010 and 2011, Maverick County received hundreds of thousands of federal dollars as part of Operation Stonegarden, a federal grant program that provides funding to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to enhance their capabilities to jointly secure U.S. borders and territories.