Villalobos Trial Continues Shocking Public

Former Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos

The testimony given by key witnesses former State District Judge Abel Limas and Attorney Oscar de la Fuente, has been the focal point so far in the federal trial for former Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos.

They claim Villalobos gave and took money from them for dirty deals made on various trials, for favorable outcomes.

University of Texas at Brownsville Emeritus Professor Anthony Knopp said even more shocking than Villalobos TM indictment, is the testimony revealing what his alleged role in the cash for favors scheme was.

"I TMm particularly shocked that this is the way it was done, Knopp said. It's only logical that's how he would be able to get his hands on money - if he would take actions that would benefit lawyers and he gets some of the money."

Knopp adds although it may not seem fair that Limas and de la Fuente cut deals with the government to get lesser sentences, or in de la Fuente's case not get prosecuted for his role in these crimes at all, it's only right that they go after the elected officials that were supposed to uphold the law.

"The public are very troubled by the lawyers doing this kind of thing and getting away with it, Knopp said. But we are more troubled by our public officials doing it, and so we're particularly eager to see them prosecuted."

Knopp said the case has made national headlines that should make public officials think twice about their actions in the future.

"Certainly there will be more scrutiny given to actions of officials, government officials, Knopp said. But there is a danger her in the Rio Grande Valley that people will kind of shrug and say, ~well that's the way things go down here, TM and that would be sad if that's the net result."

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