quidni pro quo

Random musings at random intervals. Erudition not guaranteed.

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Location: El Paso area, Texas, United States

I'm a 40-something Christian, conservative, pro-life, Constitutionalist, motorcycle-riding, pick-up truck driving, wife, mother, state employee, ham radio operator and part-time college student, enlisted in the Texas State Guard. Everything else is subject to revision without notice.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Addendum to FBI investigation in El Paso

Just a snippet of various newsblurbs from our "esteemed" El Paso Times to keep the record up to date - click on the story headlines to read each article in its entirety (and don't forget the popcorn):

Public corruption investigated: FBI warrant names 22
Ramon Bracamontes and Erica Molina Johnson. / El Paso Times

Article Launched: 05/18/2007 12:00:00 AM MDT

The FBI agents searching the El Paso County Courthouse on Tuesday were looking for specific documents and records relating to the three Commissioners Court members and to 19 other people and businesses, according to information obtained by the El Paso Times.

Among the people listed on a document attached to the search warrant as an exhibit titled "Items to be Seized" were lawyer David Escobar; community businessman Sonny Garcia, who owns LKG, a consulting firm; and former El Paso County Judge Luther Jones.

Law officials marvel at extent of NCED inquiry
Ramon Bracamontes / El Paso Times
Article Launched: 05/20/2007 01:30:45 AM MDT

Though the FBI has not classified its widening investigation of former employees of the National Center for Employment of the Disabled as a public corruption case, experts say it's shaping up that way because of the many raids it has made on businesses, homes and government offices.

FBI officials will only say that Tuesday's raids at the County Courthouse and elsewhere are part of an ongoing criminal investigation. But the search warrants used Tuesday were obtained under Title 18 -- the section of federal law that covers public corruption involving theft, bribery, fraud and swindles concerning programs receiving federal money.

Officials' jobs safe during FBI query
By David Crowder / El Paso Times
Article Launched: 05/28/2007 12:00:00 AM MDT

If the investigation that led FBI agents to the El Paso County Courthouse two weeks ago results in indictments against public officials, state law does not require anyone to resign or force anyone out of office before there are convictions.

But state law apparently says nothing about what happens if a county judge and two county commissioners are suddenly gone because of an accident or legal action.

FBI recorded calls of many as part of NCED probe
By Ramon Bracamontes / El Paso Times
Article Launched: 06/05/2007 12:00:00 AM MDT

A growing list of El Paso community and elected officials have received letters from the U.S. Attorney's Office informing them that their telephone conversations were recorded as part of a widening investigation that began at the National Center for Employment of the Disabled.

Definition Title 18 violations
Article Launched: 05/16/2007 01:00:00 AM MDT

A copy of the search warrant for County Commissioner Miguel Teran states that investigators were looking for "documents constituting evidence concerning violations of Title 18 of the United States Code Sections 666, 1341, 1346, and 1956, as more particularly described in Attachment B and incorporated herein."

Attachments to the search warrants for all those investigated on Tuesday were sealed by the FBI.

According to the U.S. Code, Title 18 involves "Crimes and Criminal Procedure." The particular sections specifically involve:
# Section 666: Theft or bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds.
# Section 1341: Frauds and swindles.
# Section 1343: Fraud by wire, radio or television.
# Section 1346: Definition of "scheme or artifice to defraud." The term "scheme or artifice to defraud" includes a scheme or artifice to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services.
# Section 1956: Laundering of monetary instruments.

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