A federal judge has released Texas State Sen. Carlos Uresti on a $50,000 bond and imposed numerous restrictions after the San Antonio politician was accused in two separate indictments on multiple criminal charges ranging from wire fraud to bribery.
The judge imposed travel restrictions requiring Uresti to surrender his passports and stay within the United States. Uresti will not be allowed to be in possession of firearms or use alcohol in excess. He is also not allowed to open any new lines of credit or have contact with any victim or witness in the case.
Uresti issued the following statement Wednesday afternoon:
“I want to reach out to all of the Texans I represent and assure them that I am innocent of all charges, and I look forward to my day in court when all the facts will come out, and I will be found not guilty of all charges by a jury of my peers.
In the meantime, I have a job that I was elected to do by the voters, and that is to fight for them in Austin. I learned to fight for our country and our state in the Marine Corps, and that is what I will continue to do as a State Senator, as I have the past twenty years. I will continue to fight for children who have been neglected or abused, for the hardworking families in District 19, and for our Veterans.
I want to thank my family, and my constituents and supporters who have reached out with words of encouragement over the past 24 hours.”
Court proceedings began Wednesday for Uresti after he turned himself in earlier in the morning.
Uresti arrived at the federal courthouse around 11:30 a.m. in a gray van and was then taken to the back doors of the building. He remained silent as he stepped out of the van wearing a blue shirt with his wrists in handcuffs.
"I'm very confident that Carlos Uresti is an innocent man," Uresti's attorney Mikal Watts said. "We are going to work diligently to prove that to a jury of his peers and I believe you will all be here at the end of his trial watching him walk out free of all these charges."
Uresti was indicted by a federal grand jury on roughly a dozen charges that center around two incidents.
The first indictment alleges Uresti and two other men, Stanley Bates and Gary Cain, developed an investment Ponzi scheme to market a "fracking sand" company in the Eagle Ford Shale.
A second indictment alleges that over the course of 10 years, Uresti and another man, Vernon Farthing, conspired to accept bribes to secure a "Reeves County Correctional Center medical services contract" for Farthing's company, specializing in providing medical services to inmates. Reeves County Judge Jimmy Galindo reportedly signed the contract, agreeing to pay Farthing's company a fee per inmate, per day.
The indictment further alleges that Farthing paid Uresti $10,000 per month to act as a "marketing consultant," and that Uresti split that sum with Galindo and others for securing the contract.
Tuesday night after the documents were unsealed, Uresti proclaimed his innocence in a statement, saying "The charges against me are groundless and I look forward to proving my innocence..."
This is Uresti's first court appearance since the indictment came down.
Uresti's arraignment has been set for May 31 at 1:30 p.m.