U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of Texas
(713) 567-9000
November 20, 2014

Donna Man Pleads Guilty in Hidalgo County Hacking Case

MCALLEN, TX—Fidel Salinas, 28, has admitted to attempting to hack into the Hidalgo County server in January 2012, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.

Salinas, of Donna, admitted that in the late evening/early morning hours of Jan. 4-5, 2012, he ran a script from his computer on the administrative website of Hidalgo County with the intent to gain unauthorized access. During that time, he made more than 14,000 access attempts with wrong passwords. Those repeated failed attempts caused true site administrators to be locked out of the system. Salinas admitted he knew the accessibility of the site could be compromised by his attempts, but proceeded anyway.

As part of his plea agreement, Salinas has agreed to pay Hidalgo County more than $10,000 as restitution, with $4,000 payable immediately at sentencing. He also agreed to forfeit to the United States any interest he may have in the computer and external hard drive used to help commit the offense.

U.S. District Judge Randy Crane heard the plea today and has set sentencing for Feb. 2, 2015.

This investigation was conducted by the FBI with the assistance of the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Sully is prosecuting the case.

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