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      Former judge Abel Limas testifies at attorney's racketeering trial

      Ray Marchan // File Photo

      The former judge at the heart of a four-year federal investigation of judicial corruption in South Texas has begun testifying in the federal trial in Brownsville of a South Texas lawyer indicted in the probe.

      Former state District Judge Abel Limas took the stand Thursday as a prosecution witness against Port Isabel lawyer Ray Marchan, who is the first of a dozen people indicted in the case to go to trial.

      Limas, the government's featured witness, pleaded guilty last year to racketeering and is awaiting sentencing.

      Marchan faces seven counts, including racketeering and conspiracy. He's accused of paying Limas bribes totaling more than $11,000 in 2008.

      On Wednesday, prosecutors showed jurors the $5,000 check for one of those alleged payments made out by Marchan to Limas' wife.

      Suspect Role Charged Guilty Plea Sentencing Abel Limas Judge Mar 29, 2011 Mar 31, 2011 August 27th Jose Manuel Longoria Middleman Mar 30, 2011 Nov 21, 2011 June 19th Jose Santiago Solis Attorney April 29, 2011 April 29, 2011 August 22nd Ray Roman Marchan Attorney June 21, 2011 N/A N/A Francisco Cisneros Bondsman June 21, 2011 Aug 8, 2011 February 22nd Armando Pea Probationer June 21, 2011 July 19, 2011 March 6th Karina Pea Wife June 21, 2011 July 26, 2011 April 19th Jaime Munivez DA Investigator July 19, 2011 Dec 13, 2011 May 30th Joe Valle Attorney August 10, 2011 Aug 10, 2011 April 16th Marc Rosenthal Attorney August 16, 2011 N/A N/A