Corruption Probe Nets Two
POSTED: Friday, October 9, 2009 - 5:54pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 3:25pm
El Paso - - - Two more take the fall in a local political corruption probe.
Friday morning, Adrian Edward Pena and Jose Alfredo Gallegos turned themselves in to El Paso FBI headquarters.
NewsChannel 9 captured exclusive video of the men as they headed inside.
Pena, accompanied by his lawyer, is accused of bribing a former El Paso Independent School District Trustee in exchange for a multi million dollar construction contract. This is Pena's second indictment. He pleaded not guilty and is out on bond.
Gallegos was indicted along with Pena. Investigators say he was a co-conspirator in the latest bribery case. Both men face three charges of mail fraud. Former trustee Sal Mena recently pleaded guilty to public corruption charges.
Our media partners at the El Paso Times are also on the story. Assistant Managing Editor Armando Durazo told us:
"These indictments point out that the federal government continues to put the pressure on in what has been called the biggest investigation in El Paso history. One cannot lose the fact that there are 12 separate investigations with as many as 80 targets. Since this investigation began in 2004, 10 people have pleaded guilty,several are still under indictment and we really don't know what or who is next or where the investigation will lead. As more people are investigated, the FBI probably gets more leads as people try to cooperate. One FBI official told us that this is a good year for the agency. Pena's lawyer told us that neither this indictment or a previous one in which he is accused of bribing a county official will stick. Also today the construction company where Peña worked said the charges are not related to the company. We are going to have to wait to see who is right in all of this once it gets to federal court."