Four Cameron County officials indicted on abuse, theft and corruption charges

News Center 23

POSTED: Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 5:54pm

UPDATED: Friday, January 24, 2014 - 10:23am

The district attorney's Public Integrity Unit has one very simple goal:

"To address the crime in Cameron County," said Public Integrity Unit chief Victor Cortez.

And today, that anti-crime-and-corruption agency was able to announce just that.

"Yesterday, we impaneled a new grand jury, and we brought forth to the grand jury, four cases," said Cortez.

The cases involved abuse, theft, and/or corruption.

"The grand jury indicted four Cameron County individuals," said Cortez.

Sheriff's deputy Arturo Ramos was charged with one count of official oppression. DPS trooper Jose Munoz was charged with two counts of official oppression. County commissioner Ernie Hernandez was charged with eight counts in violation of various Texas penal codes, and county employee Juan Lemus was charged with one count of theft.

"The indictments were sealed Wednesday...on Wednesday and early this morning, the counts were unsealed," said Cortez.

But the district attorney's office set out to make one thing very clear.

"Mr. Saenz has in the past indicated that corruption is Cameron County public enemy number one," said Cortez. "We know that corruption, abuse and bribery has been with us for many years. But by God, we're gonna try and eliminate it a piece at a time."

Reporting in Brownsville, Marty Watson, KVEO News Center 23.

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