Editors Note: This story has been updated with information from the arraignment.
PENITAS, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The City of Penitas Mayor was arrested on federal bribery and fraud charges Monday.
On Monday, authorities took Rodrigo Lopez into custody today as he re-entered the United States at a Port of Entry in Hidalgo County, according to a press release.
Lopez is believed to have embezzled or fraudulently obtained property of the La Joya Independent School District, according to a two-count indictment unsealed Monday.
From March through August of 2018, LJISD allegedly made purchases totaling approximately $70,010 from Lopez’s company Xizaka LLC.United States Attorneys Office, Southern District of Texas
According to the press release, Lopez offered or gave a bribe to an LJISD employee in connection with these purchases.
If convicted, Lopez faces up to 10 years on each count.
The FBI conducted the investigation with the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives; the Texas Department of Insurance; the McAllen Police Department, and Customs and Border Protection. Assistant U.S. Attorney Roberto Lopez is prosecuting the case.
On Tuesday, Lopez pleaded not guilty. He was charged with bribery and fraud charges with a $50,000 bond.
Lopez’s next court date has been set for July 26 at 9 a.m.