Bribery at border brings felony charge for USDA servicetechnician
USDA Lead Animal Health Technician Roberto Adams has pleaded not guilty to the felony charge of bribery of a public authorities and required a jury trial.
A Grand Jury indictment implicates Adams of accepting kickbacks from March 2019 through November 2021 to permit tick-infested and unhealthy livestock to getin the United States without assessment or quarantine.
If foundedguilty on the sole count of the indictment, the sentence optimums are 15 years in federal jail and $250,000 in fines.
Federal authorities apprehended Adams in Laredo, TX, on March 3.
The indictment states he “did straight and indirectly, corruptly need, lookfor, get, accept and concur to get and accept personally a thing of worth, particularly United States Currency, as an impact for the efficiency of an authorities act, and in return for and with the intent of being caused to act and leaveout to do any act in offense of his authorities task, that is, for enabling tick-infested and unhealthy livestock to gointo the United States without effectively checking and/or quarantining them, in infraction of his legal responsibilities as a Lead Animal Health Technician for the United States Department of Agriculture.”
Adam’s preliminary court look was priorto federal Magistrate Judge Diana Song Quiroga on March 8. He was remanded to custody till a $75,000 bond was pleased.
Adam’s defense lawyer is Philip Daniel DelRio of Laredo. DelRio waived arraignment for his customer.
Ahead of a jury trial, the judge offered federalgovernment districtattorneys guidelines on offering so-called Brady products to the defense and recognizing individuals who may have a monetary interest in the case’s result. If the thing of worth times 3 goesbeyond $250,000, the monetary charge might be increased to a greater quantity.
In Houston, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has a Financial Litigation area representing the United States in the bribery case.
Feeder livestock from Mexico cross the U.S. border in fantastic numbers: 1.128 million head in 2021 and 1.441 million in 2020.
The jury trial for Adams will be in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas priorto federal Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo. The real start date for jury choice and trial isn’t set. However, the last pretrial conference is setup for May 3.
(To indication up for a totallyfree membership to Food Safety News, click here.)