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Texas Prosecutors Indict Former Mexican Governor

Tomas Yarrington Ruvalcaba
Courtesy fbi.gov
Tomas Yarrington Ruvalcaba

Courtesy fbi.gov

Tomas Yarrington Ruvalcaba

Federal prosecutors in Texas have announced the indictment of the former governor of the Mexican state of Tamaulipas.

Tomas Yarrington Ruvalcaba is accused of money laundering, racketeering, drug smuggling and other related crimes following a three-year investigation. The indictment was unsealed this week in Browsville, Texas.

Yarrington was the governor of the Mexican border state from 1999 to 2004. Tamaulipas borders Texas from Brownsville to Laredo.

Prosecutors say Yarrington received millions of dollars in bribes from the Gulf Cartel and in return allowed drug traffickers to bring large amounts of cocaine into the United States. The indictment also alleges that after his tenure ended he was involved in trafficking drugs from 2007 to 2009.

He is accused of collecting bribes and was involved in acquiring assets in the U.S. such as bank accounts and properties. The indictment says the former governor used stolen funds to buy a private jet while he was governor.

The indictment also includes a notice of forfeiture. Some of the assets and property named in the indictment are already seized by the United States, including 46 acres in San Antonio.

Yarrington’s attorney says his client was surprised by the indictment and says it is based on false accusations and political motivations.

He is not in the custody of U.S. law enforcement and a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Another man, Fernando Cano Martinez, was indicted with the former governor. He is accused of paying bribes to Yarrington. Authorities say Martinez would purchase property for Yarrington using phony identities.

Indictments were unsealed last week against two other former Mexican government officials. They are accused embezzling funds from Mexico and moving them into U.S. and other offshore banks.

Updated 12/4/2013 at 12:40 p.m.

KJZZ’s News Director Al Macias is part of an elite class of trusted, veteran journalists who have covered Arizona news for more than 30 years.Macias helps oversee daily operations for the KJZZ newsroom and Fronteras: the Changing America Desk. This is second nature for Macias, who is a National Association of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle Society member and an inductee of the Society of Professional Journalists Order of the Silver Key Society.Macias began serving the KJZZ news team in October 2010, helping the station launch Fronteras: The Changing America Desk as the project's managing editor. He became the news director in January 2015. Macias, who has an extensive television background, is helping Fronteras Desk reporters disseminate reports using a multimedia platform that includes radio, web, video and social media tools to engage listeners across the globe.He also is no stranger to building a news team from the ground up. Macias was part of the management team that launched the KNXV newsroom in 1994 and oversaw its growth from a staff of twenty to more than sixty in less than a year. Additionally, he served in managerial roles at KPNX from 1981-1994 and as an assignment editor and manager for KTVK.During his television career, Macias won two Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards for spot news coverage and public service programming.Macias takes great pride in his public service work, as well. He is a founding board member of the Arizona Latino Media Association and is part of the Raul H. Castro Institute Advisory Committee. In addition, he served Maricopa County’s communications department and spent time as a Partnership Specialist with the U.S. Census Bureau.A Phoenix native, Macias earned a journalism degree from Arizona State University. He has been married since 1978 and has two adult daughters.