SHERMAN, Texas (AP) — A Texas lawyer referred to as the “DWI Dude” has been sentenced to greater than 15 years in federal jail for falsely promising Colombian drug traffickers he’d get their fees lowered or dismissed in trade for money, prosecutors mentioned.
Jamie Balagia, 65, was sentenced Monday to 188 months in federal jail. He was convicted after a two-week trial in 2019 of conspiracy to commit cash laundering, obstruction of justice, violation of the Kingpin Act, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to impede justice.
In accordance with federal prosecutors, Balagia conspired with a non-public investigator in Florida and an lawyer in Colombia to rip-off Colombian drug traffickers into paying “lawyer charges” for performing as intermediaries with authorities officers who they mentioned would settle for bribes to dismiss legal fees or cut back jail sentences.
There have been no bribes or authorities officers concerned.
“The proof on this case demonstrated that Balagia had been shaking down his shoppers for years by claiming that he was in a position to buy favorable offers from prosecutors and judges alike,” Performing U.S. Legal professional Nicholas Ganjei mentioned.
Protection lawyer Gaylon Riddels had requested for probation for his shopper, saying that Balagia was “homeless, destitute and damaged,” the Dallas Morning News reported.
Balagia’s two co-defendants within the case beforehand pleaded responsible and are serving federal jail sentences.