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Prosecutors Toss Charges Against Weslaco Water Plant Bribery Defendant

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Federal charges have been dropped against a defendant thought to have played a key role in the widespread bribery scheme surrounding the 2014 rehabilitation of the Weslaco water treatment plant.

Federal prosecutors Tuesday dismissed fraud and money laundering charges against Rio Grande City attorney and school trustee Daniel Garcia.

Garcia had been accused of participating in an alleged scheme in which millions of dollars were funnelled to him, former members of the Weslaco City Commission, former Hidalgo County commissioner A.C. Cuellar, and Weslaco businessman Rick Quintanilla. In exchange, politically-favored engineering firms were awarded contracts for the water plant rehabilitation project.

Meanwhile, the cases against the remaining indicted defendants have been delayed until next June – the federal judge citing the current threat of the highly-contagious omicron coronavirus variant.

Tim Sullivan

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