Former DPS Employee Sentenced for Bribery and Fraud in CDL Scheme
SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio man was sentenced yesterday to 24 months in prison for his role in a commercial driver’s license bribery and fraud scheme.
According to court documents, from January 2017 until June 2019, Alonzo Blackman, 68, was an employee of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and oversaw the issuance of commercial driver licenses (CDLs). A CDL permits the holder to drive and operate large commercial vehicles and buses. To be eligible for a CDL, an applicant must pass a written exam and a skills test. Investigation revealed Blackman did not administer the skills test to applicants but passed them as if the test had been conducted.
Blackman issued 215 fraudulent CDLs and was paid approximately $1,000 per CDL. Bribes were paid to Blackman by two co-defendants, Fernando Guardado Vazquez, 43, of San Antonio, and Marino Maury Diaz-Leon, 55, a Cuban national living in San Antonio. Of the 215 fraudulent CDLs, 197 went to Cuban nationals; 11 to U.S. citizens; one to a Dominican Republic national; one to an Ethiopian national; one to an Iraqi national; one to a Puerto Rican national; one to a Ukrainian national; and two to Mexican nationals.
On February 13, 2020, Blackman pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and honest services fraud. In addition to the prison sentence, Blackman was ordered to pay a $215,000 money judgment.
Codefendant Diaz-Leon also was sentenced today to 12 months and 1 day in prison. On May 26, 2021, Diaz-Leon pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and honest services fraud.
Codefendant Vazquez is scheduled to be sentenced on August 10, 2022. On May 9, 2022, Vazquez pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services fraud.
“This case represents an appalling breach of public trust and safety,” said U.S. Attorney Ashley C. Hoff. “Our office will continue to work with the FBI and our other law enforcement partners to hold corrupt officials and those who conspire with them accountable for their criminal actions.”
“The FBI is committed to working with our partners to hold public officials accountable to the trust bestowed upon them by the citizens we serve,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Oliver E. Rich Jr. “We will continue to aggressively investigate allegations of public corruption and would like to thank our partners for their strong partnership and unrelenting pursuit of justice.”
The FBI and the Texas Rangers with the Texas Department of Public Safety investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph E. Blackwell and William R. Harris prosecuted the case.