DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) –Four people connected to the Dallas County Constable’s office are now under indictment.
Two constables and two top deputies have been charged in a campaign finance scheme, accused of organized crime in attempt to raise money for reelection campaigns.
The indictments were unsealed Wednesday morning in Dallas. Former Precinct 5 Constable Jaime Cortes is at the center of the case. Cortes, who lost his reelection bid earlier this year, is facing two counts of Tampering with a Government Document.
Derick Evans is the current Precinct 1 Constable. He’s facing two counts of Engaging in Organized Crime and four counts of failing to report campaign contributions of more than 100 dollars.
The special prosecutor who led the investigation, Ted Lyon, told CBS 11 News that a cycle of illegal campaign fundraising has been going on in the two offices for years. “For a number of years going back 13 to 14 years, not just these constables but constables before them, a scheme of campaign financing has been involved over there,” Lyon said.
Two of Evans’ deputy constables, Tracey Gulley and Kelvin Holder, have each been charged with one count of Engaging in Organized Crime.
Even though the charges are different, the indictments say both constables allegedly engaged in an illegal raffle to raise money for their campaigns.
People close to the investigation say Cortes and Evans coerced their deputies into selling raffle tickets for $5 each. If they didn’t sell their allotment, deputies would have to buy them or face retribution, often coming in the form of denying off duty work and promotions.