The owner of an Eagle Pass construction company faces up to 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to a theft charge.
Joe M. Rodriguez, 37, owner of Capitol Construction, pled guilty for his role in a scheme to steal more than $17,000 in Maverick County funds, United States Attorney Robert Pitman said.
Rodriguez remains on a $20,000 bond pending sentencing, prosecutors said. No sentencing date has been scheduled.
Appearing before U.S. District Judge Alia Moses, Rodriguez pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting theft concerning programs receiving federal funds. According to investigators, between September 18, 2011, and October 11, 2011, Rodriguez, a private contractor who performed work for Maverick County, was issued several checks totaling more than $17,000 by Maverick County for allegedly providing to Rodriguez, a private contractor who performed work for Maverick County, was issued several checks totaling more than $17,000 by Maverick County for allegedly providing to the county a forklift, as well as a motorthe county a forklift, as well as a motor for both a water truck and a forklift.
Rodriguez deposited the checks into his bank account and then gave thousands of dollars to co-defendant Jaime Flores, per their usual arrangement, prosecutors said. Rodriguez never provided Maverick County a forklift or the motor for a water truck and forklift. By pleading guilty, Rodriguez admitted that by accepting the checks, depositing the checks, and then giving a portion of the money from the checks to Flores, that he was assisting agents of Maverick County in stealing funds from Maverick County, prosecutors said.
Rodriguez’s co-defendants were former Maverick County Purchasing Agent Juan Carlos Moncada, 32, and Maverick County Precinct One Foreman Jaime Flores, 33. Both remain under indictment for wire fraud and theft concerning programs receiving federal funds, prosecutors said. Jury selection and trial for Moncada and Flores is scheduled for January 15, 2013. If convicted of wire fraud, a defendant faces up to 20 years in federal prison. If convicted of theft concerning programs receiving federal funds, a defendant faces up to 10 years in federal prison.
The Department of Justice said the case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from the Texas Department of Public Safety. Assistant United States Attorney Michael Galdo is prosecuting this case.
In 2011, Maverick County received hundreds of thousands of federal dollars as part of Operation Stonegarden, a federal grant program that provides funding to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies to enhance their capabilities to jointly secure U.S. borders and territories.