Corruption Trial for Jones & Sanchez Underway


POSTED: Thursday, March 31, 2011 - 4:57pm

UPDATED: Thursday, March 31, 2011 - 9:13pm

EL PASO - After more than a year of delays, the federal corruption trial of two formerly prominent local politicians is finally underway.

A jury of 9 women and 5 men were selected this Thursday morning in the wire and mail fraud trial of Luther Jones and former District Clerk Gilbert Sanchez.

Opening arguments were followed by the prosecutions first witness, Roger Miller, the president of Altep, a digital imaging company.

Altep is the company prosecutors allege received a government contract worth millions because of a bribe given to Sanchez by Luther Jones, the man hired by Altep to secure the bid in 2004.

The government's two key witnesses in this case against Jones and Sanchez are former Assistant District Clerk Fernando Parra and former County Commissioner Betty Flores.

Both have pled guilty to unrelated charges and the defense says they're only co-operating with the government for a lighter sentence in their cases.

The prosecution claims Jones stood to gain a third of the profits from this contract with El Paso County.

The jury will get to hear from Jones himself.

He's expected to take the stand in his own defense at some point during this trial, that's expected to take at least two weeks.

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