San Benito man jailed in Abel Limas cash for court favors scheme

A San Benito man connected to a racketeering case involving former 404th State District Judge Abel Limas has been arrested.

Authorities arrested 52-year-old Jose Manuel Longoria in a wire fraud case on Thursday.

Longoria spent the night in the Brownsville City Jail. He's accused of being involved in a cash for court favors scheme with Limas.

Court documents allege that Longoria was middleman in an $1,800 deal back in April 2008.

Longoria allegedly negotiated a deal to allow convicted aggravated robbery suspect Armando Pea to report to a probation officer by mail rather than in person.

The San Benito man allegedly had Pea and his wife wire the money to Cameron County.

Longoria allegedly spoke to Limas' wife Genevieve Limas and told her he had "calabazas" or "pumpkins" for her husband.

Court records allege that "calabazas" was their code word for cash.

The records show that Limas reportedly smiled "ear to ear."

Longoria appeared before U.S. Magistrate Court Judge Felix Recio on Friday morning.

Investigators said Longoria is a Mexican national but is a legal resident of the United States.

Judge Recio denied bond for Longoria until a Tuesday afternoon hearing.

If convicted, Longoria could face up to 20 years in prison.