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Pair charged with conspiring to bribe U.S. judge in drug cartel case

AUSTIN, Texas, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- Two men charged with conspiring to bribe a federal judge in Austin, Texas, in a case involving a Mexican drug cartel appeared before a magistrate Friday.

Francisco Colorado Cessa Jr., 25, an engineering student at the University of Mexico, and businessman Ramon Segura, 52, were ordered held pending a bail hearing next week, the Austin American-Statesman reported. Both were arrested Thursday.

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The two men are Mexican citizens, and U.S. Magistrate Judge Andy Austin warned them they could also face immigration charges.

Francisco Colorado Cessa Sr., 52, an oil executive from the Mexican state of Veracruz was sentenced to 20 years in U.S. prison Thursday for his role in laundering money for Los Zetas, a Mexican drug cartel. His son and Segura, a friend, allegedly hoped to bribe U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks to get a shorter sentence.

Prosecutors said Sparks was unaware of the bribery attempt and not involved in the investigation.

The investigation was triggered by monitored phone calls between Segura and the elder Colorado Cessa and involved an undercover informant posting as an intermediary with the judge.

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