Houston, Texas - A Texas state district judge has been sentenced to 60 months in federal prison following his multiple convictions of conspiracy, bribery and obstructing justice, announced Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick of the Southern District of Texas.
A federal jury in Houston convicted Rodolfo “Rudy” Delgado, 66, of Edinburg, July 11, 2019, following a six-day trial of one count of conspiracy, three counts of federal program bribery, three counts of travel act bribery and one count of obstruction of justice.
Delgado was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Alfred Bennett who also ordered Delgado to serve two years of supervised release.
Delgado was a justice in the 13th Court of Appeals for the State of Texas, having been elected in November 2018. He resigned from that position following his conviction.
Prior to that, he was previously the presiding judge for the 93rd District Court for the State of Texas, which has jurisdiction over Texas criminal and civil cases located within Hidalgo County. As a district judge, Delgado conspired with an attorney from January 2008 to November 2016 to accept bribes in exchange for favorable judicial consideration on criminal cases pending in his courtroom.
As part of the investigation, Delgado also accepted bribes on three separate occasions in exchange for agreeing to release three of the attorney’s clients on bond in cases pending before his court. The first two bribes totaled approximately $520 in cash and the third bribe - in January 2018 - totaled approximately $5,500.
After Delgado learned of the FBI’s investigation, he also attempted to obstruct justice by contacting the attorney and providing a false story about the payments.
The FBI conducted the investigation. Trial Attorney Peter M. Nothstein of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Arthur “Rob” Jones and Robert Guerra are prosecuting the case.