The sentencing for former Webb County Commissioner Jaime Canales and ex-councilman Johnny Amaya will now take place August 9. Both face up to five years in federal prison.
Amaya and Canales plead guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery and are out on bond. The first sentencing was scheduled February 14 and it was later pushed back to May 9.
David Almaraz, Canales’ attorney says the prosecutor asked for more time because the government isn’t ready for sentencing.
“This is not unusual to ask for continuous. We do this all the time in federal and state court but as far as sentencing, if there is an issue either I or the government feel that needs to be addressed, that is something we need to be worked out before the sentence.”David Almaraz, Canales’ Attorney
While prosecutors get everything ready, Almaraz tells us how he feels about his client facing up to five years in federal prison.
“Because of things that have happened over the last year or two, we will ask for a lesser, now how much that lesser will be who knows, if probation is possible, well anything is possible.”David Almaraz, Canales’ attorney
Canales is accused of accepting checks disguised as campaign contributions, as well as other gifts to influence and reward him for his official acts as a Webb county commissioner and a representative of the Metropolitan Planning Organization from January 2015 to 2017. Amaya is accused of serving as a middle man for a co-conspirator and a corporation. He spoke with various county and city officials and directed them to take actions that benefited the corporation and the co-conspirator.
Amaya’s attorney was not available for comment but Almaraz says he continues to work with him in this case.