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Texas Judge Busted for Taking Bribes in Continuing FBI Sting: Ex El Paso Judge Tony Cobos Jailed

Tony Cobos, 44, full name Antonio Guillermo Cobos, only served one term on the state judicial bench over in El Paso, but that was time enough for Mr. Cobos to gut his legal career and maybe his freedom.  As of yesterday morning, Cobos still sat in an El Paso jail cell, having some problems with getting bail since he was busted late last week.

Seems Mr. Cobos was arrested last Friday and charged with taking money in exchange for his approval of refinancing El Paso County debt (to the tune of $40,000,000), among other things.

Officially, Antonio Guillermo Cobos has been charged with 3 counts of conspiracy and fraud, each carrying 20 years imprisonment as their maximum punishment, in the case of  U.S. v. Cobos, filed as case no. 11-3019 in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas (El Paso Division) (Available online through PACER).

Early Friday morning, the feds were busy — not only was Cobos picked up, but three other prominent El Paso businessmen were also arrested as part of the same FBI sting operation.

This was not a big surprise to those in the know.

Seems that Tony Cobos’ chief of staff while he was on the bench, Texas lawyer Travis Ketner, already pled out on charges awhile back, and there are purportedly around 20 names in what has become known as the “Ketner Information,” which allegedly describes Cobos’ administration as being very interested in moonlighting for side profits from the bench.

After Ketner, the former El Paso District Clerk Gilbert Sanchez was indicted and convicted, for example.  Others are waiting for the other shoe to drop, like Tony Cabos was until last Friday.

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