LAREDO, TX (KGNS) - A Webb County Commissioner in office for less than 15 months has been arrested on federal charges.
Precinct One Commissioner Mike Montemayor was arrested this morning. He's accused of asking for and taking cash and goods in exchange for getting people jobs and business contracts. This indictment reads that Montemayor is charged with two counts of federal programs bribery.
In one case, Montemayor is accused of asking for, and accepting, a 2012 Ford truck. The F.B.I. says that truck was valued at about $37,000. They say in exchange for using the truck, Montemayor promised government jobs to the truck's owner and the owner's spouse.
In the second case, the F.B.I. says Montemayor accepted about $11,000 in cash and about $2,700 in electronics, from a businessman.
In exchange for that, the F.B.I. says Montemayor promised to take "official" action to promote the man's business interests. But they say what he did not know is that businessman was actually an undercover law enforcement agent.
If Montemayor is convicted of the charges, he could face up to 10 years in prison for each bribery charge. He could also be fined up to $250,000 on each charge.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE:
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Department of Justice) - Kristopher Michael Montemayor, a county commissioner for Precinct 1 of the Webb County Commissioners Court in Texas, was arrested today on charges of bribery, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
A federal grand jury in the Southern District of Texas returned an indictment on March 18, 2014, that charges Montemayor, 36, of Laredo, Texas, with two counts of federal programs bribery. The indictment was unsealed following today’s arrest.
According to allegations in the indictment, while serving as a county commissioner, Montemayor solicited and accepted bribes in exchange for promising to perform various official acts. Montemayor allegedly accepted the use of a 2012 Ford truck, which cost approximately $37,015, in exchange for promising to provide government jobs to both the vehicle’s owner and his spouse.
The indictment further alleges that Montemayor, while serving as a county commissioner, solicited and accepted approximately $11,000 in cash as well as electronics equipment worth approximately $2,700 from a businessman who, unbeknownst to Montemayor, was an undercover law enforcement agent. The indictment alleges that Montemayor promised to take official action to promote the business interests of the undercover agent in exchange for cash and electronics.
If convicted, Montemayor faces a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison for each bribery charge. Each charge also carries a maximum $250,000 fine.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Laredo Resident Agency. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Emily Rae Woods and Mark Cipolletti of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.
The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until he is proven guilty.