State News

Sep 4, 2013 3:45 PM by Associated Press

FBI Says Family Ran Progreso Through Intimidation

McALLEN, Texas (AP) - An FBI agent has testified that members of a South Texas family retaliated against those suspected of helping a federal investigation into public corruption.

FBI Special Agent Ricardo Ale described Wednesday at a detention hearing how the Vela family ran the politics of the tiny border town of Progreso through intimidation.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Dorina Ramos said she would issue her decision by the end of the day Thursday on whether to grant bond.

Jose Guadalupe Vela Jr., 64, a maintenance and transportation supervisor for the Progreso Independent School District, and his sons, Progreso Mayor Omar Vela and Michael Vela, president of the school district's board of trustees, were arrested Aug. 28.

Prosecutors allege the men used their positions to receive kickbacks and bribes on city and school contracts.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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