Former Webb County officials will be sentenced on corruption charges in November


The sentencing of two former Webb County elected officials on federal corruption charges has been delayed while the government completes its investigation.

Originally set for this week, sentencing has been moved to Nov. 7 in Houston for former Webb County Commissioner Jamie Canales and former Laredo school board trustee Johnny Amaya, the Laredo Morning Times reported.

Canales was indicted in October for accepting bribes disguised as campaign contributions for helping an engineering firm win the contract for a Webb County road project. The indictment did not reveal the name of the firm, but the newspaper reported that Dannenbaum Engineering won the contract.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Amaya served as the middleman in helping facilitate the bribes. The indictment said he and an unnamed co-conspirator developed a pattern of bribing Canales to influence his actions as a commissioner and representative of the local Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Amaya and Canales both pleaded guilty. They face possible sentences of up to five years in prison.

Amaya’s attorney, Fausto Sosa, told the Morning Times that U.S. District Judge Sim Lake is waiting on all of the facts from the investigation.

“You don’t want to sentence somebody and then find out that something else happened that could affect the sentence,” he said. “That’s the theory behind waiting.”


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