More Guilty Pleas Entered in El Paso Corruption Case
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 06, 2010|
United States Attorney John E. Murphy announced that in El Paso this morning, 36-year-old Adrian Edward Pena pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges in connection with his role in defrauding El Paso County and depriving citizens of honest services.
Appearing before United States District Judge Frank Montalvo, Pena pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud contained in two separate indictments (EP09CR2558 and EP09CR2759). As a result, Pena faces up to 20 years in federal prison per count.
By pleading guilty to the conspiracy charge in the first indictment, Pena admitted that between August 23, 2003, until June 14, 2006, he agreed to remodel a sitting El Paso County Commissioner’s residence in return for the commissioner’s support and vote to award a vendor construction contract to his employer. Pena further admitted that instead of remodeling the residence, he paid the commissioner $1,000 in August 2004 and another $9,000 in September 2004 after county commissioners voted to pay a $382,158 invoice submitted by Pena’s employer.
By pleading guilty to the conspiracy charge in the second indictment, Pena admitted that between May 2002 and July 2007, he conspired with his co-defendant—40-year-old Jose Gallegos—to pay a $13,000 bribe to an El Paso Independent School District trustee for his help in securing contracts for subcontractors on EPISD construction projects. Gallegos faces up to 20 years in federal prison after pleading guilty on Friday to the same conspiracy charge.
Sentencing for Pena is scheduled for April 20, 2011, before Judge Montalvo.
This investigation—conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation—continues. Assistant United States Attorneys William F. Lewis, Jr., and Antonio Franco are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.