SAN ANTONIO — Former State Senator Carlos Uresti was sentenced to five years in prison for a federal bribery charge for which he pleaded guilty in October of last year.
The former District 19 senator admitting to "conspiring with others" to pay bribes to former Reeves County Judge Jimmy Galindo in regards to a Reeves County Correctional Center medical services contract.
"I accept full responsibility for my actions and that's what I'm here for today," Uresti said afterward. "This is a very difficult chapter in my life, but I've learned from it and I vow to never make those same mistakes again."
The press release stated Uresti also admitted to collecting $10,000 a month to be a "marketing consultant." Half of the monthly payment reportedly went to Judge Galindo as a bribe for him to award the contract to a specific company at a good price.
On Tuesday the judge considered taking the former senator in on the spot, a consideration that was met with audible gasps int he courtroom from the defendant's supporters. The judge ultimately decided to give Uresti a week to get his affairs in order before beginning his sentence.
In June, Uresti was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $6.3 million in restitution after he was convicted on charges for money laundering, securities fraud and acting as an unregistered broker. The two sentences will run concurrently, meaning Uresti will serve them at the same time.
"Nobody is above the law," said prosecutor Joseph Blackwell, an assistant U.S. attorney in the western district of the state, following the sentencing. "The lawmakers are not above the law themselves, and I think that's important and that should give us all optimism, frankly; the fact that there is a check against the powerful."