Uresti sentenced to 5 years in prison on federal bribery charges

Disgraced ex-state senator must report to prison within 7 days


Former state Sen. Carlos Uresti showed no emotion as a federal judge sentenced him to five years in prison on bribery charges.

Free on bond for year after he was sentenced in a separate fraud case, the judge gave Uresti another seven days to be with his father. But he told Uresti that he must surrender to U.S. Marshals by 2:30 p.m. on Feb. 19.

Uresti will serve those five years at the same time as the 12-year sentence handed down in February 2018. Also, as part of the plea agreement, Uresti will not appeal.

Tuesday’s hearing began with the now-disgraced former state senator reading what a federal prosecutor said was a "heartfelt" statement.

Uresti told the court he had realized his dream of serving the public, which he did for 21 years.

Uresti said he later did what he swore he would never do — “capitalize” on his title as state senator.

"I betrayed my constituents, my family and the victims," he said.

Uresti also said he’s spent many days and sleepless nights thinking about “how I strayed this far.”

Federal Judge David Ezra said Uresti committed the crimes “out of greed, to make money … to maintain his lifestyle.” He said Uresti instead could have stepped down as state senator to make more money as an attorney.

When speaking to reporters as he left the federal courthouse, Uresti was asked what he would do if he had it to do all over again. He replied, "Things would be much different, absolutely."

Original story:

Former state Sen. Carlos Uresti will return to a federal courtroom Tuesday for sentencing on bribery charges.

In October 2018, Uresti pleaded guilty to working as a consultant in a contract deal with a company that provided medical services to inmates, contingent on a secured deal with the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Prosecutors said Uresti accepted several monthly payments of $10,000.

Last February, in a separate trial, Uresti was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison on fraud charges. He faces up to five additional years in prison for the bribery charges.

About the Authors:

Jessie Degollado has been with KSAT since 1984. She is a general assignments reporter who covers a wide variety of stories. Raised in Laredo and as an anchor/reporter at KRGV in the Rio Grande Valley, Jessie is especially familiar with border and immigration issues. In 2007, Jessie also was inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame.

David Ibañez has been managing editor of KSAT.com since the website's launch in October 2000.