BROWNSVILLE, Texas –A 32-year-old former La Feria deputy
constable has entered a guilty plea to extortion under color of official right,
announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
At the time of the offense, Armando Gonzalez was a
Precinct 5 deputy constable.
While serving as a deputy constable, he admitted he
received a $50 Bass Pro Shop gift card in exchange for conducting a license
plate check on a vehicle for someone he personally knew. Gonzalez also knew
that individual had been involved in narcotics trafficking. Gonzalez spent the
gift card a few days later.
According to the plea agreement, Gonzalez also committed
another extortion act. Gonzalez admitted that on May 26, 2016, at the request
of the same person, he caused another license plate check to occur on another
car. On June 8, 2016, Gonzalez received $40 in cash in exchange for conducting
that second check.
U.S. District Judge Rolando Olvera will impose sentencing
Dec. 18, 2019. At that time, Gonzalez faces up to 20 years in federal prison
and a possible $250,000 maximum fine. Gonzalez was permitted to remain on bond pending
The FBI, Border Patrol, Drug Enforcement Administration,
Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and
Cameron County District Attorney’s Office conducted the Organized Crime Drug
Enforcement Task Force Operation dubbed Something About Maria. Assistant U.S.
Attorney Jody Young and Oscar Ponce are prosecuting the case.