The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism
Texan Sandy Valles New, formerly employed as a paralegal by the Federal Public Defender’s office from 1996 through 2002, was sentenced this week to more then five years in prison, after being convicted of extortion and money laundering. She was accused of facilitating communications between Barrio Azteca gang members who were imprisoned and those on the streets.
Sandy Valles New cried as U.S. District Court Judge David Briones announced her punishment for her role in a racketeering case involving the Barrio Azteca.
She had a long history of helping migrant farm workers, and asked for leniency based on that background. But her words to the judge showed she did not expect to receive it.
“I’ve suffered more than you can imagine. I felt like I’ve let the farm workers down, and the farm workers are my life,” New told Briones. “I feel like today is my execution day, and I need to say my final words.”
Ms. New’s link to the gang was her former husband. Prosecutors accused her of obtaining information about FBI investigations, copying legal documents and providing information about gang members who cooperated with law enforcement during the course of her employment with the public defender’s office. (The alleged punishment for Aztecas cooperating with law enforcement is death.)
See The El Paso Times.