Uresti turns himself in to begin serving prison sentence

February 19, 2019

Disgraced ex-state Sen. Carlos Uresti turned himself in to U.S. marshals this afternoon to begin serving a 12-year prison sentence.

Uresti, 55, arrived at the John H. Wood Jr. U.S Courthouse at shortly after 1 p.m. — about an hour before the 2 p.m. deadline set for him to surrender. He was flanked by his attorneys, Mikal Watts and Alicia O’Neill, and joined by various friends and family. Uresti was carrying a Bible in his left hand.

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Last June, a federal jury convicted the longtime San Antonio Democrat of 11 felonies for his role in defrauding investors in an oil-field services company that prosecutors said was a Ponzi scheme. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison and ordered to pay $6.3 million in restitution to victims.

Last week, Uresti was sentenced to five years in an unrelated public-corruption case out of West Texas. He pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiring to commit bribery. He was directed to pay $876,000 in restitution in that case.

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As part of his plea, Uresti agreed to drop the appeal of his conviction and sentence in the other case. Senior U.S. District Judge David A. Ezra agreed with prosecutors and defense lawyers who recommended Uresti serve the two sentences concurrently.

It likely will be a month or so before it’s known where Uresti will serve his sentence. His co-defendants are serving their sentences in low-security facilities in Bastrop and Seagoville.

It will be at least 2029 before Uresti is eligible for parole.