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Valley Attorney Admits To Immigrant Soliciting Bribery Scheme

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A Valley attorney has admitted to leading a bribery scheme to solicit clients to represent in immigration proceedings.

Roel Alaniz Tuesday pleaded guilty in Brownsville federal court to bribing a public official and conspiring to commit bribery. Federal prosecutors say Alaniz paid employees at two immigrant detention facilities to hand over detainee roster lists containing the names, ages, and home countries of the immigrants being held there.

Alaniz would visit them and urge them to hire his Weslaco-based law firm to represent them in their immigration hearings. The investigation that led to Alaniz’ arrest also nabbed his attorney sister, Cynthia Alaniz, and two employees of the Willacy County Regional Detention Center – all of whom have also pleaded guilty. The 40-year-old Roel Alaniz faces a maximum 20 years in federal prison when he’s sentenced in early August.

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