Father, 3 sons sentenced to prison for public corruption in South Texas border town

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HOUSTON — A father and his three sons have been sentenced to federal prison for public corruption in the tiny South Texas border town of Progreso.

U.S. District Judge David Hittner in Houston sentenced father Jose Vela on Monday to more than 12 years in prison and his sons — Omar Vela, Michael Vela and Orlando Vela — to 10 years, six years and 10 months, respectively.

Omar Vela was the mayor of Progreso, Michael Vela was the school board president and Orlando Vela oversaw risk management, loss control and safety management for the school district. Jose Vela was the school district's director of maintenance and transportation.

Together Jose, Omar and Michael Vela squeezed bribes and kickbacks from city and school district contractors. Orlando Vela billed the district for supplies never delivered.

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