Eagle Pass Contractor Indicted in Connection with Maverick County Bribery, Kickback, and Bid-Rigging Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 20, 2012|
In Del Rio, Texas, Eduardo De La Garza, owner of Rio Bravo Construction, surrendered himself to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in connection with an alleged bribery, kickback, and bid-rigging scheme announced United States Attorney Robert Pitman and FBI Special Agent in Charge Armando Fernandez.
A federal grand jury indictment, returned yesterday, charges the 44-year-old Eagle Pass resident with three counts of paying a bribe to an agent of an organization receiving federal funds. The indictment alleges that in May 2011, De La Garza submitted a $19,800 bid to Maverick County to construct a concrete pad at the intersection of Winsor Avenue and Bianca Road in Precinct 4 of Maverick County. Maverick County issued him a $9,900 check to commence work and then $9,900 check for the completion of the concrete pad. The indictment alleges that De La Garza made a cash payment to an employee working in the Maverick County Auditor’s Office for each check. The indictment further alleges that both checks were issued to De La Garza without undergoing the appropriate internal review process by Maverick County. Additionally, De La Garza is alleged to have never constructed the concrete pad he was paid to build.
The indictment also alleges that in 2010 and again in 2011, De La Garza paid thousands of dollars on multiple occasions to a Maverick County Commissioner in return for receiving Maverick County construction contracts.
Upon conviction, De La Garza faces up to 10 years in federal prison for each count. This afternoon at 1:00 p.m. in Del Rio, De La Garza appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Victor Garcia for his Initial Appearance. He was granted a $30,000 bond.
This ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Texas Department of Public Safety. Individuals who have first-hand information about corruption, fraud, or bribery related to Maverick County are urged to contact the FBI at (210) 225-6741. Assistant United States Attorney Michael Galdo is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government. An indictment is merely a charge and should not be considered as evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
In 2010 and 2011, Maverick County received hundreds of thousands of federal dollars as part of Operation Stonegarden, a federal grant program that provides funding to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to enhance their capabilities to jointly secure U.S. borders and territories.