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2 ex-elected officials among 4 named in bribery indictment

April 10, 2019

MCALLEN, Texas (AP) — A federal grand jury has returned a 74-count indictment against four South Texas men, including two former elected officials, alleging a bribery scheme in which more than $4 million changed hands.

The 74-count superseding indictment handed up Tuesday in McAllen names former Weslaco City Commissioner John Cuellar (KWAY’-yahr) and his uncle, ex-Hidalgo County Commissioner Arturo Cuellar Jr., as well as Rio Grande City attorney Daniel Garcia and Weslaco businessman Richard Quintanilla (keen-tah-NEE’-yah). They are charged with bribery, bribery conspiracy, wire fraud and other charges relating to three construction companies, including a $38 million water treatment plant project.

Weslaco City Commissioner Gerardo Tafolla (tah-FOY’-yah) and former Rio Grande City Municipal Judge Leonel J. Lopez already have pleaded guilty to bribery.

Arturo Cuellar’s attorney, Carlos A. Garcia, said they looked forward to putting the prosecution case to the test. A voicemail for Daniel Garcia’s attorney wasn’t taking messages. No attorneys were listed in court documents for John Cuellar and Quintanilla.

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