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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 8, 2018

FBI Agents Arrest Tucson Lawyer and his Assistant on Federal Obstruction of Justice Related Charges

This morning in Tucson, AZ, FBI agents arrested a local attorney and his assistant for allegedly obstructing justice, tampering with a witness and assisting an offender in avoiding apprehension in a criminal case, announced United States Attorney John F. Bash of the Western District of Texas and FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael DeLeon, Phoenix Field Office.

A federal grand jury indictment unsealed today charges 59-year-old Rafael F. Gallego and his 39-year-old assistant, Ricardo Gallego, with one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice; one count of conspiracy to commit false statements; one substantive count of obstruction of justice; one count of accessory after the fact; and, one count of conspiracy to tamper with a witness.

The indictment alleges that from January 2017 to October 2017, the defendants conspired to corruptly effect the administration of justice in a criminal matter pending in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona.  The indictment alleges that the defendants provided false information to Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents and an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Arizona.  The indictment further alleges that the defendants, having knowledge of the commission of a drug trafficking offense, provided assistance to the offender in order to hinder and prevent the offender’s apprehension, trial and punishment.  The indictment also alleges that the defendants conspired to corruptly persuade an individual to provide false information to law enforcement investigators.

Upon conviction, the defendants face up to 20 years in federal prison for witness tampering; up to ten years in federal prison for obstruction of justice; and, up to five years in federal prison for the remaining conspiracy charges. 

The FBI Phoenix Field Office’s Tucson Resident Agency is investigating this case with the assistance of HSI and CBP.  The Pima County Sheriff’s Department assisted with today’s operation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Daphne Newaz of the Western District of Texas is prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government. 

It is important to note that an indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt.  The defendants are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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Updated August 8, 2018