There has been a new arrest in the Department of Public Safety bribery case. Last week administrative DPS clerk Gracie Gutierrez was arrested and charged with bribery for accepting cash for a fake license. Also busted was a man named Saul Ramirez, who was charged with paying the bribe and then attempting to sell the license to an undercover cop.
Yesterday, Orlando Castano, Gutierrez's romantic partner, was arrested and also charged with bribery.
According to Harris County District Attorney's office spokesperson Donna Hawkins, Gutierrez would furnish Castano with official DPS driver's license applications, which he would hand out to interested buyers. Castano and Gutierrez would then sell the licenses for two to five thousand dollars, with Castano pocketing a thousand for each transaction.
And this Castano character is a real piece of work, a convicted sex offender and big-time pot dealer.
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Supposedly, Castano and Gutierrez sold these bogus licenses to ordinary working-stiff illegal aliens who merely did not want to take the driving test, but with his background you have to wonder...You also wonder if the DPS should be more curious about the romantic lives of their clerks.
Court records show that Castano, 27, accepted a plea bargain last year and took a charge of attempted indecency with a six-year-old girl, for which he served 268 days in county jail and was released last summer. (Attempted indecency with a child is a class A misdemeanor; actual indecency with a child is a third-degree felony.)
According to court records, in July of 2003, Castano also plead guilty to delivery of between 50 pounds and a ton of weed. Sentenced to seven years imprisonment, Castano was granted shock probation mere months into his sentence, but violated it -- via a couple of thefts and allegedly flashing another little girl and not paying many of his fees, etc., etc., -- and was sent back to prison with a five-year sentence in 2005.
And now he's back inside, this time in Harris County Jail on $50,000 bail. His next court appearance is Monday.