Almost 8 years after he was indicted and almost 4 years after he was arrested, former governor of Tamaulipas, Tomas Yarrington Ruvalcaba, accused of taking millions of dollars in drug cartel bribes, has pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
The plea made in Houston federal court Thursday was part of a plea agreement with prosecutors in which drug conspiracy, racketeering, and fraud charges were dropped. In making the plea, prosecutors say Yarrington admitted he took more than $3.5 million in bribes, used it to purchase properties in the Rio Grande Valley, and conspired with others to hide his ownership of the properties.
Among the properties were luxury condos in South Padre Island and Port Isabel. The 64-year-old Yarrington faces more than 10 years in prison but a sentencing date has not yet been set. Yarrington was the governor of Tamaulipas from from 1999 to 2005.