Democratic State District Judge Rodolfo "Rudy" Delgado was arrested by the FBI in a series of raids of his courtroom and his home. The FBI would not acknowledge the identity of the target, although they did confirm they made one arrest Friday.
At the time The Goldwater <a href="https://thegoldwater.com/news/17471-Judge-Arrested-After-FBI-Descends-on-Texas-District-Court">first reported the raids on Delgado's courtroom,</a> details of his arrest were not released and the FBI would only acknowledge they made one arrest. Monday, the 64-year-old Delgado appeared in court before U.S. Magistrate J. Scott Hacker in McAllen Monday.
A criminal complaint unsealed Monday revealed Delgado was charged with accepting three bribes between November 2016 and January 2018 in connection with programs that receive federal funds. He was released Monday on $100,000 bond.
Delgado is accused of accepting the bribes in exchange for judicial consideration of cases pending in the 93rd state District Court where he presides. Whenever a corrupt judge is found it is a crippling blow to justice and this case it calls into question whether it falls under fruits of the poisonous tree.
While there are only three instances of alleged bribery in Delgado's criminal case, an affidavit from the FBI investigator said he uncovered more information about the district judge during his investigation.
The investigation into Delgado began in November 2016 after a licensed Texas attorney who is listed as a confidential human source told the FBI that Delgado was accepting bribes in the form of cash and other valuable items going back as far as 2008.
Over the course of a two-year investigation, Delgado took bribes from the confidential source and in return released his clients on bond. The investigators say the bribes consisted of $520 cash, according to court documents.
A third bribe took place as recently as January when the confidential source wore an audio and video recording devices and gave Delgado $5,500 in cash. In return, the informant asked for Delgado's help on a case involving a client with a pending motion to revoke.
The court documents reveal Delgado accepted the envelope with the cash inside and gave the client a bond the following day. Among the evidence against him, the FBI recorded phone calls and meetings between the informant and Delgado.
If convicted, Delgado faces up to 10 years in federal prison.
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