White-Collar Crime

Ex-DA takes stand at federal racketeering enterprise trial, cites prosecutorial discretion

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A former Texas district attorney is expected to continue testifying Thursday in his federal trial over allegedly operating the DA’s office as a criminal racketeering enterprise.

However, ex-Cameron County DA Armando R. Villalobos already laid out his defense in testimony Wednesday—prosecutorial discretion, the Valley Morning Star reports.

Contradicting testimony by a prior witness, convicted former 404th state District Judge Abel C. Limas, that the DA was like a son to him, Villalobos also said that the two had repeatedly clashed in years past, as he served in the judge’s courtroom as a prosecutor in 2001.

“He made me look horrible just about every day,” Villalobos told the jury, calling Limas a very difficult judge who was known for very lenient sentencing and doing things “you couldn’t find in the rule book.”

The former DA is accused in the Brownsville case of asking for and accepting attorney bribes in criminal matters over a period of nearly six years, in exchange for access and favorable treatment, as well as using drug-forfeiture and bond funds to benefit himself and others.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “Trial begins for ex-DA accused in cash-for-court-favors case; convicted ex-judge is first witness”

Valley Morning Star: “Villalobos’ bank records come under scrutiny”

Valley Morning Star: “Judge denies motion to acquit Villalobos”

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