Former State Senator Uresti Ordered to Prison for a Total of 12 Years

Former San Antonio State Senator Carlos Uresti, who not long ago was among the most respected leaders in Texas government, today was sentenced to serve a total of 12 years in federal prison for his role in a bribery scheme and a fake fracking sand company, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

U.S. District Judge David Ezra sentenced Uresti to five years for the bribery scheme to be served concurrently with the 12 year sentence he has already received for the fracking sand fraud, and allowed him to serve the two sentences concurrently.

Uresti was ordered to begin serving his sentence in the coming seven days. It will be 2029 when he is eligible for consideration for parole.

Uresti apologized, but said nothing more in open court. The hearing lasted less than a half hour.

Uresti was sentenced to 12 years in prison last spring after a jury found him guilty on eleven counts of defrauding investors who put money into a company called Four Winds Logistics, which turned out to be a fraud, complete with 'photo shopped' photographs of train cars filled with fracking sand.

But a federal magistrate allowed Uresti to remain free on bond while he was planning his defense in an unrelated case. Uresti was accused of bribing an official in Reeves County, which is in west Texas, to try to convince him to give a lucrative jail medical services contract to an Amarillo businessman who was Uresti's employer.

Uresti pleaded guilty in that case, and agreed to a five year prison term. Prosecutors agreed to allow the sentences in both cases to run concurrently.

Since his conviction, Uresti has given up his license to practice law in Texas, he has had to sell his downtown law office as well as his $1.5 million home in Helotes, he has resigned his seat in the State Senate, and has been served with divorce papers by his wife.

Uresti's fall is truly Shakespearean in nature. When he served in the Texas House, and later in the Texas Senate, he was among the most respected lawmakers in the state. He focused on issues affecting children and families, from education to Child Protective Services, and won recognition from children's service organizations for his dedication and commitment.

Uresti is unable to appeal either sentence.

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