New Details In Webb County Bribery Case

New Details In Webb County Bribery Case

A superseding indictment has been unsealed in the case of an ex-commissioner and a former council member in Laredo.

The documents detail how former city councilman Johhny Amaya was involved in the bribery case, acting as a middleman between elected officials and a co-conspirator.

According to the indictment, Amaya provided cash payments and personal checks disguised as campaign contributions among other items to elected officials, including Jaime Canales. Amaya and Canales plead guilty to bribery conspiracy charges last week and face up to five years in federal prison.

Court records state that on August 10, 2016, Amaya and the co-conspirator spoke by phone about the upcoming elections and meetings secured by Amaya with various Laredo city council members and Webb County commissioners. The indictment states the co-conspirator discussed a recent meeting regarding funding for a Loop 20 construction project in Laredo.

The indictment further states Amaya would meet with public officials in secret because “sometimes they don’t want to be in public” adding that a Webb County commissioner asked Amaya “for some stuff.”

About a month later, Canales asked the co-conspirator for additional people to support his next fundraising event. On September 29, 2016, court records state Amaya and the co-conspirator spoke again by phone and discussed how to influence and reward other public officials in exchange for action favorable to a corporation on the Hachar Reutlinger project. The co-conspirator commented during the call to give a different public official a check for 2,500 dollars only if the official was with them 120 percent.

On December 12, 2016, Amaya sent a text message to two Webb County commissioners at the direction of the co-conspirator regarding a Loop 20 project. The names of those commissioners were not named in this indictment.

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