FBI nabs Texas Democrats accused of using cocaine to buy votes

The FBI is accusing Texas Democrats of using cocaine to buy votes and it’s all coming out in court.

Political chicanery and vote-buying in Texas are as old as the state itself, and the latest episode to come to light features purchasing votes with cocaine, marijuana, money, cigarettes and beer, an on-going FBI investigationhas uncovered.

Two political operatives of a Hidalgo County Commissioner’s campaign manager were charged on Thursday with vote-buying before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peter Ormsby, The Monitor reported.

The arrests are the latest twist in an 18-month investigation focusing on the 2012 primary election for County Commissioner. The name of the campaign manager and his chief were not disclosed, however, only two candidates ran in that race, A.C. Cuellar Jr., and Democrat Joel Quintanilla. Both have denied even having campaign managers.

Veronica Saldivar and Belinda Solis, known as politiqueras, paid campaign workers, were each given $25 worth of cocaine, the campaign manager admitted, and told to buy votes with them. Their bond was set at $10,000 and if convicted, each could face five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

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In the 2012 general election, the campaign manager confessed that he gave Solis $40 in cash and $20 worth of cocaine to entice voters for school board candidates, according to The Monitor.

She told agents that she paid three voters $10 each for their votes in 2012, $5 to her ex-husband, and gave another individual a “dime bag” of cocaine for his vote.

So far, no elected officials have been arrested, but three other politiqueras were nabbed by FBI agents in December, for exchanging money, food and cigarettes for votes. Additionally, former School Board President Alfredo Lugo, who seemingly felt implicated by these three arrests, hanged himself on New Year’s Day, but no specific reason was cited for his suicide.

 

Politiquera Donna

Politi Quera

Richard Berkow

Former political news reporter Richard Berkow lost his idealism in the Kennedy years, and his innocence in Vietnam, Lebanon, and the Soviet Union. He hasn’t mellowed since, and can be harassed at [email protected]

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