Trial begins for lawyer in Limas cash for court favors scandal

      Ray Marchan / File Photo

      Opening statements have begun in the first trial stemming from a broad federal investigation of judicial corruption in South Texas.

      Prosecutors began making their case to jurors against Port Isabel lawyer Ray Marchan on Tuesday in federal court in Brownsville.

      Marchan is charged with racketeering and conspiracy and accused of paying bribes totaling more than $11,000 to former state District Judge Abel C. Limas in 2008.

      Limas is expected to be a featured witness for the prosecution. He's pleaded guilty to racketeering charges and awaits sentencing.

      Now in its fourth year, the federal investigation into how Limas made his Brownsville courtroom into a money generator has swept up a dozen people.

      Before openings Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen dismissed one juror who revealed she was enrolled in summer school.