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Friday, January 3, 2014 - 5:37pm
EL PASO, Texas (KDBC) — UPDATE: A chapter closes for El Paso as former County Judge Anthony Cobos and Lorenzo Aguilar receive their sentence. Cobos and Aguilar will spend the next 4 years in prison.
It was an emotional hearing in a packed court. Anthony Cobos and Lorenzo Aguilar arrived shortly after 1:30pm and waited for an hour to face Judge Frank Montalvo. Both men were charged after participating in one of El Paso's most well known corruption schemes that involved more than 10 public officials.
During the hearing Cobos and Aguilar asked for forgiveness and said they accepted full responsibility for what happened.
“I accept full responsibility for my actions. I’m so very sorry to my community and my friends, my family, my wife Leticia and my children. I’m sorry, repented and I can tell you I’m absolutely a changed man.” Former Judge Cobos said.
"I apologize and ask for forgiveness to the court, the U.S. and the community of El Paso and most importantly my wife and children who have been hurt by my actions," added Aguilar.
Aside from the 48 months sentence both men will be under supervised release for 3 years after their sentence is served. Cobos will also have to pay a $10,000 fine while Aguilar will pay $50,000 dollars.
Judge Frank Montalvo questioned Cobos on his alleged vice of drugs and alcohol abuse for more than 20 years, the former county judge admitted he previously had an alcohol problem but said he didn't recall telling a probation officer about a marijuana addiction problem.
Cobos stated “I have repented and recommitted my life to Christ like I did in 1997. I am different today and tomorrow,.”
He added; 'I pray for leniency, I can tell you that I am absolutely a changed man,”
Judge Montalvo stated he didn't want to embarrass Cobos and was plainly asking a simple question about his alleged drug abuse. Cobos replied; I don't recall what I told my probation officer.
Anthony Cobos will be transferred to a prison in Englewood Colorado while Aguilar will serve his prison sentence in El Paso. Judge Montalvo allowed both men to self surrender on February 11th.
After the hearing only Cobos decided to speak to the press both in English and in Spanish, he offered a public apology with his eyes full of tears.
"First I want to apologize to all El Pasoans as a result of what has transpired I just want to say I'm a better person as a result of this God is good, even though this is going to be very painful for me and my family things happen for a reason often out of our own being,"
He also invited the community to pray.
"I just want to encourage all El Pasoans who are having family problems, difficulty finding a job difficulty with your marriage it's ok to pray because there's a day after tomorrow," Cobos concluded.
ORIGINAL STORY: Adrienne Alvarez
A former El Paso county judge and a co-defendant were sentenced to four years in prison in federal court Friday for their roles in a public corruption case.
Back in September, Former County Judge Anthony Cobos and local architect Lorenzo Aguilar pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and the deprivation of honest services.
Cobos admitted he voted to award a financial services contract to Dallas-based Company Bear Stearns to refinance $40 million of the county's debt, all in exchange for $1,500.
He was arrested in 2011, along with Aguilar who arranged the bribe.
U.S. District Judge Frank Montalvo sentenced each to four years in prison. Cobos will serve his time at FCI Eaglewood in Colorado, because his attorneys said they had "strategic reasons" for not keeping him locally.
Aguilar will serve his time in Anthony, TX FCI La Tuna.
Early last month, Judge Montalvo also sentenced Former City Representative Raymond Telles to five years of probation and a $4,000 fine for his involvement in the same scheme.
Montalvo gave Roberto Ruiz, a former managing director of Bear Stearns two years in prison and $135,000 fine and former Bear Stearns banker Chris Pak three years of probation.
El Paso lobbyist Antonio Dill was scheduled to learn his fate on January 8.