Area Breaking News

Trial in Weslaco water treatment plant bribery case delayed until September

A federal judge on Thursday rescheduled the Weslaco water treatment plant bribery trial for September. Concerned about the prospect of bringing together three defendants, a half-dozen attorneys, federal prosecutors, witnesses and jurors for a high-profile trial in the middle of a pandemic, U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez delayed jury selection until Sept. 8. In January,…

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Former Customs and Border Protection officer pleads guilty to bribery

A former U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer pleaded guilty to bribery on Thursday, when he confessed to accepting $17,000 during a federal sting operation. Oziel Cantu, 47, of Alamo — a former Customs and Border Protection officer assigned to the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge — pleaded guilty to bribery on Thursday morning. During a federal…

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Mission firefighters warn about ‘toxic and hostile’ work environment

The Mission Fire Fighters Association warned the City Council on Tuesday that Fire Chief Gilbert Sanchez had created a “toxic and hostile” workplace — and requested an investigation. Firefighters are frustrated with Sanchez and Assistant Fire Chief Rene Alvarez, according to a letter from association President Robert Lopez to members of the City Council. The…

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Hidalgo County EMS receives bid from prospective buyer

Hidalgo County EMS received a bid Monday from a prospective buyer, a major development in the company’s long-running bankruptcy case. Chief Restructuring Officer Richard S. Schmidt confirmed that Hidalgo County EMS received a bid, but he couldn’t publicly identify the prospective buyer or provide any details about the offer. With just a single bid on…

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Hidalgo County EMS owner pleads guilty to bankruptcy fraud

The CEO of Hidalgo County EMS pleaded guilty to bankruptcy fraud on Wednesday, when he confessed to concealing assets from a bankruptcy court and siphoning cash from the struggling company. Kenneth B. Ponce, 48, of Lyford — the CEO of Hidalgo County EMS, a privately owned ambulance company that responds to emergency calls in Edinburg,…

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Jury finds former Progreso cop guilty in sexual assault case

After a two-day trial, a jury took less than two hours Wednesday to find a former Progreso police officer guilty of violating the civil rights of people he arrested. Two men testified that former Progreso police Officer Matthew Sepulveda sexually assaulted them after traffic stops in June 2019. The jury found Sepulveda guilty on two…

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