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Old 08-22-2013, 11:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
Jackal Ghoul
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South Texas Judge gets 6 yrs/ $7 million in Restitution "Chump Change Wrist Slap"

Former South Texas Judge Abel Limas sentenced to 6 years for racketeering in corruption case. - Houston Chronicle

U.S. Attorney’s Office August 21, 2013

Southern District of Texas (713) 567-9000

BROWNSVILLE, TX—Former 404th State District Judge Abel Corral Limas has
been ordered to prison following his conviction for racketeering, United
States Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today. Limas pleaded guilty
March 31, 2011.

Today, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, who accepted the guilty plea,
handed Limas a total sentence of 72 months in federal prison. At the hearing,
additional testimony was presented concerning the impact suffered by
victims with one victim testifying there was “outrage and shock at the
magnitude of the corruption.” Limas admitted to the court that his conduct
was “not a mistake, it was intentional,” and he had destroyed the public’s
view of the local judiciary. Limas was further ordered to pay restitution of
approximately $6,777,270.50 and will serve a term of three years of
supervised release following completion of the prison sentence. An additional
amount of $257,300 was ordered forfeited as proceeds derived from the

“It critical to our court system that justice is administered fairly and without
any undue influence,” said Magidson. “This case and the sentencing today
serves as a reminder that this behavior will not be tolerated in the Southern
District of Texas. We will continue our efforts against public corruption and
will pursue prosecution in these matters when identified to us our partner law
enforcement agencies.”

Limas, 57, a life-long resident of Brownsville, practiced criminal and family law
in south Texas during the late ‘80s and the ‘90s before assuming the
judgeship of the 404th District in 2000. Limas served as judge for eight
years, retiring in December 2008. Thereafter, he was associated with the law
firm of Rosenthal & Watson, an Austin firm, as “of counsel.”

At the time of his guilty plea, Limas admitted his part in use of the office of
judge of the 404th District Court as a criminal enterprise to enrich himself
and others through extortion. Limas accepted money and other consideration
from attorneys in civil cases pending in his court in return for favorable
pre-trial rulings in certain cases, including a case involving a helicopter crash
at South Padre Island in February 2008. Limas specifically admitted to
receiving $8,000 in May 2008, a payment described as eight “golf balls,” for
favorable rulings.

Evidence also showed Limas participated in a series of meetings with
attorneys Marc Garrett Rosenthal and Jim Solis in the summer of 2008 during
which they planned and negotiated the terms of Limas’ employment as an “of
counsel” attorney with the firm. During those meetings, Rosenthal promised
Limas an advance of at least $100,000, as well as a percentage of attorneys’
fees earned in the helicopter crash case in return for favorable rulings on the
Limas’ employment arrangements were confirmed in calls on August 28,
2008, between Limas and his wife and son. Limas was expecting to be “cut
in” on 10 percent of the settlement/judgment of the helicopter crash case
pending in his court and the $100,000 advance. On December 31, 2008,
Limas received a check for $50,000 payable from the Rosenthal & Watson
Law Firm. On January 2, 2009, Limas received a check for $50,000 from Solis.

In October 2009, the helicopter case settled for approximately $14 million
and Limas received approximately $85,000 from the Rosenthal & Watson Law
Firm approximately two months later.

To date, a total of eight defendants have entered guilty pleas to related
violations in the FBI’s four-year public corruption investigation, including Jose
Santiago “Jim” Solis, former Texas State Representative; local attorney Jose
“Joe” Valle; former Cameron County District Attorney’s Office investigator
Jaime Munivez; Jose Manuel “Meme” Longoria; Armando Pena; and his wife,
Karina. Three others—attorneys Ray Roman Marchan, Marc Garrett
Rosenthal, and former Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos
were found guilty of public corruption-related charges involving their
association with Limas after separate jury trials. Marchan was previously
sentenced to 42 months’ imprisonment, which was vacated upon his death.
Solis was sentenced August 2, 2013, to 47 months, while Rosenthal and
Villalobos will be sentenced Septemer 23 and October 15, 2013, respectively.

Limas was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S.
Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

The investigation has been conducted by the FBI with the assistance of the
Drug Enforcement Administration and Brownsville Police Department.
Southern District of Texas Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSA) Michael
Wynne and Oscar Ponce are prosecuting this case. The cases against
Villalobos and Rosenthal are being prosecuted under the direction of the
Western District of Texas by AUSAs Wynne and Greg Surovic.

Mixed reactions to Abel Limas sentencing : News :

Former DA Speaks

Former Cameron County District Attorney Yolanda De Leon was the only
person other than Limas to speak at the sentencing hearing.

Proseuctors listed De Leon is one of the officials victims of Limas following a
2008 defamation lawsuit that ended with a judgement against her.

The lawsuit ended her career as an attorney.

Although Judge Hanen awarded De Leon more than $39,000 in restitution
today, she doesn’t expect to actually be paid.

But the former district attorney said the Limas case confirms what she long
suspected when prosecutors presented cases in the 404th State District Court.

"What we saw were a lot of squirrely things… that things were not what they
ought to be,” De Leon said.

Two More Sentencings

Federal prosecutors declined to comment about the sentencing but court
records show that attorney Marc Rosenthal is expected to be sentenced for
his role in the scandal on October 8th.

Former district attorney Armando Villalobos, who took office after De Leon
and was found guilty of participating in the scandal, is expected to be
sentenced on October 15th.

With the federal case winding down, De Leon wants the State Bar of Texas
to look into the conduct by Limas and other attorneys connected to the

"He was doing this type of thing perhaps for money but for perhaps for
benefit long before the Rosenthal situation came into being," De Leon said.


Cartels Making Feds look...

Sources: Drug trafficker who wrestles was target at Cine El Rey - The Monitor: Local News

McALLEN — One day after law enforcement swarmed downtown McAllen’s
entertainment district, federal authorities released little information Monday
about the case that led a SWAT team to enter Cine El Rey during a Lucha
Libre wrestling event.

But two U.S. law enforcement officials and a Tamaulipas lawman confirmed
that the elusive quarry was a Mexican drug trafficker who moonlights as a

The FBI wouldn’t confirm whether the large deployment of armed personnel
Sunday night was an effort to capture the man identified by the Tamaulipas
law enforcement official as Ramon “Comandante Simple” Leal. But an FBI
spokesman did say that Sunday night’s target was not captured.

FBI spokesman Erik Vasys said Monday morning that once the agents arrived
to carry out the search warrant, several individuals barricaded themselves
somewhere within the building, prompting the FBI agents to call in a McAllen
police SWAT team.

Vasys said Monday morning that federal agents arrived at Cine El Rey, 311 S.
17th St., on Sunday night seeking a man wanted in connection with an
“immigration violation,” and that the FBI agents were assisting agents with
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

ICE spokeswoman Nina Pruneda rebutted that comment Monday, saying ICE
hadn’t taken part in any enforcement action in downtown McAllen on Sunday

Vasys also said Monday morning that once the raid was over, McAllen police
arrested six individuals who could face state charges.

But later Monday, McAllen police Chief Victor Rodriguez said that although
the men were held at the police station, they were in the FBI’s custody
because it was the FBI’s case.

Vasys corrected his statements Monday afternoon, saying the raid was in
fact not an immigration case but a fugitive case and that the bad information
was due to a communication error at the FBI office in McAllen.

Last edited by ProfessorMurder; 08-22-2013 at 12:42 PM.
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