A federal grand jury indictment unsealed Wednesday shows former El Paso County Assistant District Attorney Antonio Reyes allegedly conspired to take cash in exchange for dropping pending criminal cases along the southern U.S. border with Mexico for a 15 day period between March and April of 2011. Evidence of the bribes were discovered through text messages. He has been arrested by the FBI and charged with conspiring to commit wire fraud and "the deprivation of honest services."
“The arrest of Mr. Reyes demonstrates the FBI’s unwavering commitment to the citizens of El Paso that we will vigorously investigate allegations of public corruption in our community and bring those responsible to justice," FBI Special Agent in Charge Douglas E. Lindquist said in a statement. "The citizens of this community deserve to have a sense of confidence that their tax dollars are being spent efficiently for the public good and not for the private enrichment of those in a position of trust."
El Paso has been named one of the safest large cities in the country, but clearly, not all criminal cases have been properly prosecuted and therefore are not entered into the crime record.
Public corruption has been a major problem in Mexico and has been an increasing concern among public officials in the United States.
In September, two Zetas cartel members were arrested in Houston for attempting to bribe a U.S. District Judge overseeing a major Zetas money laundering case.