MCALLEN, Texas – Former La Joya Mayor Jose “Fito” Salinas has been granted bond. He was released Wednesday evening from jail after a federal judge ruled he was not a flight risk. The 81-year-old Salinas was in federal court and plead not guilty following his arrest on Wednesday.
Salinas is charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The indictment also alleges Salinas devised a scheme, resulting in the city of La Joya purchasing property he owned at a highly inflated rate.
The judge granted Salinas a $75,000 unsecured bond. Under the agreement, he will not be able to have contact with any witnesses or co-defendants, including his daughter.
“My client would rather not say anything at this time until we look closer at the facts to see what’s going on,” said Richard Zayas, Salinas’s attorney. When asked if they were confident if Salinas would be vindicated of his charges Zayas responded, “I have no idea at this time. I really don’t want to make a comment one way or the other because I have not had an opportunity to look at the facts in the case other than what you all have seen in the indictment itself,”
His next court appearance is scheduled for April 3. If convicted, he faces up to 20-years in prison on each count.
While out on bond Salinas must also refrain from alcohol use and cannot leave the southern district without approval.