68-year-old Ismael “Melo” Ochoa stood on the other side of the bench to face judge Noe Gonzalez from the 370th district court, with a guilty plea.
The former justice of the peace entered a plea bargain with district attorney prosecutors where he would admit guilt to 2 counts of bribery, and one count of money laundering, but have the “engaging in organized criminal activity” charge dismissed.
“He’s not finished with what he’s going through, he still has to cooperate with other investigations in reference to what he was doing it with, so, right now that’s why he got probation,” says Rene Guerra, hidalgo county district attorney.
Investigations that have led to the arrest of other public figures such as the former sheriff Guadalupe Trevino and his former commander, in addition to the officers in the panama unit scandal. Cases that share links to the main accomplice mentioned in Ochoa’s indictment, Julio Armando Davila, who awaits federal sentencing in January.
Another condition of the agreement included resigning to his post, which he did on October 10th, a few weeks before his arrest… A position he left just before his reelection.
“There was a document that needed to be executed, my client executed that document a couple of days before thanksgiving that document is one where he vows that he will not take office and he will surrender whatever title he won at the election where he ran unopposed,” adds Carlos Garcia; Ochoa’s defense attorney.
The district attorney wars that in the event that Ochoa breaks the conditions of the probation by committing any crime, he would be sent directly to jail. Something he was able to avoid in court today.