Monday, March 31, 2014


SONIA SOLIS SENTENCING LIVE ON THE BV AT 9:30 A.M.

SONIA SOLIS IS SENTENCED TO 5 years of probation and 6 months home confinement

AUSA claims Sonia Solis said NH met at her business and told her they have been doing this for years.  NH according to the AUSA was a key advisor to Sonia Solis.

The above verified the Hernandez family is in fact a target of the feds.  This is based on undisputed claims Sonia Solis provided the federal investigators.  

It seems to me any deal has to include Sonia Solis giving up the names of who she was working for. But remember - it is not illegal to pay someone to go to the home of someone to lobby for their vote. Just because a candidate may have hired her does not mean he/she authorized criminal conduct by Sonia Solis. The live blogging will start at 9:30 a.m.

I am up and running.  The Honorable Judge Tagle will be in the courtroom in about 15 minutes.  I want to say the Court Security Officers are always very welcoming and helpful.  I am not sure if it is good or bad that they say hello to me when I walk in and say "hello Bobby."

I do not know if the names of any candidates she worked for will come out, but remember the mere hiring of a politiquera is not illegal.  Paying someone to go door to door to ask that they vote for you the candidate is not illegal.  Unless there is specific evidence the candidate authorized the illegal conduct, then the candidate is clean as far as the law is concerned.  We shall see what we learn.  Everything will be typed - no sacred cows.

The Honorable Judge Tagle has entered the courtroom.

Sonia Solis has tested positive for opiates.  Defense counsel has noted that pretrial was already given a copy of her prescriptions which has opiates - so there is no problem.  Judge Tagle is insuring the prescription is actually Ms. Solis'.  Presentence did get to see the bottles with her name on the prescription.  Judge Tagle wants to see the actual bottle.  Sonia Solis is doing a great job in explaining how she appeared yesterday with pretrial to get authorization to take the medicine.

OBJECTIONS TO PRESENTENCE BY DEFENSE COUNSEL CANTU

TC, HB and NH all implicated by Sonia Solis according to AUSA

Objecting to claims by CAVA - Cantu is not giving anything specific.  Judge Tagle is trying to understand the objection.  Judge Tagle wants specifics - allegation 6 - CAVA member alleging voter frauds generally - para 6 - YTB approached to hire at $125 per person .  Must be Yolanda Begum - there is no claim any of the claims mention Sonia Solis.  They are just general allegations by persons.

YTB alleges Sonia Solis alleges Sonia Solis helps seniors.  Cantu notes this is not illegal.

AUSA - says he wants to use the claims by CAVA - the narrative Mr. Cantu is objecting to.  But the narrative according to Cantu makes no claims against Sonia Solis.

Cantu:  He client plead guilty to voting in other people's names.  Sonia Solis has taken responsibility for what she did.  Cantu is objecting that the statements by CAVA were not part of the what Sonia Solis plead guilty to.  Cantu is claiming the statements go beyond what Sonia Solis plead guilty to.  He claims some of the complaints deal with legal conduct.

AUSA - Sonia Solis plead guilty to voting 5 times.  AUSA says this information is important because it speaks to other participants.  This means the sentence should be focused on preventing voter fraud in the future.  "TC and HB assured her nothing would happen.  They have been doing it for years"  AUSA claims TC showed her how to fill in the ballets.

AUSA claims Sonia Solis said NH met at her business and told her they have been doing this for years.  NH according to the AUSA was a key advisor Sonia Solis.

Cantu is claiming the statements are unsworn to and should not be used.  Says Sonia Solis admitted to forging the signatures for his family.  He claims the government is trying to use conduct which was not part of the indictment and what she plead guilty to.

All defense objections overruled - he made no mention of objecting to reference to Abelardo Gomez as previously noted in his written objection.

AUSA ON SENTENCING

The government is saying no value on votes - they are sacred.  The AUSA is saying the court should send a strong message to Cameron county because of so many players over the years.

AUSA - says the medical records show no evidence of Sonia Solis has cancer.

AUSA wants 12 months confinement.

Defense Counsel presenting medical records.  But no indication of cancer.  Judge Tagle is noting nothing in medical records to indicate cancer.

The court takes a break to allow Sonia Solis to check other medical records in her attorney's files

JUDGE TAGLE HAS  RECONVENED THE SENTENCING HEARING

Cantu does not have documentation to prove the cancer but read a history which shows a surgery for cancer.  The issue is does her attorney feel like he needs the documentation to aid the court in sentencing. But she is cancer free so there is no issue of treatment for cancer.  There is a need for follow-up.

Objects to AUSA argument that a message be sent to the community.  The guideline is 6-12 months - probation has recommended 6 months of house arrest and then some probation.  Cantu managed to get the medication bottle and allowed Judge Tagle to see the bottle.  It turns out a dentist prescribed the painkiller.

Sonia Solis says she is very sorry.  Judge Tagle asks why she did it?  Judge Tagle mentions her son asked that she do it.  There is no evidence she was paid.  Her son is Steve Berlanga and was hired by Constable Abelardo Gomez after he took office.

Judge Tagle - no evidence she was paid - the CAVA narratives only show Sonia Solis was a small player in a bigger problem.  Judge Tagle is saying the narrative provided through CAVA shows Sonia Solis was actually only a small player and the narrative actually works towards Sonia Solis' advantage.

Judge Tagle cannot see it as just to give Sonia Solis incarceration when the players are not being charged.  The players being candidates or people who are being paid.

AUSA just verified he cannot speak to active investigations so he is limited in what he can say now.

The car was provided by TC and registered to AG.  AG took the vehicle away from her only after learning of the investigation.  So use of the vehicle would be a benefit to Sonia Solis.  The AUSA is being very careful to not disclose information related to ongoing investigations.

Now there is an issue how how she paid for a vehicle when she had no job - she does get SSI.  Cantu is suggesting she has adult kids who maybe helped.

Judge Tagle does not want the first caught and being such a small player getting a longer sentencing than maybe later players.

Judge Tagle is concerned this is a business and they are not the ones being prosecuted.  Judge Tagle calls the business as nasty and reprehensible.

Judge Tagle does not want to send a message it is not a serious crime.  Judge Tagle claims to never have known any candidate to do  this.

Judge Tagle notes 5 illegal votes were cast.  Judge Tagle is shocked that Sonia Solis claimed she did not know this is illegal.

Judge Tagle says she can leave her home as authorized by her probation officer.  GPS monitoring will verify.

Sonia Solis will incur the costs of the GPS system.  If she can afford a car she can afford a GPS system

No fine imposed.  .

Sentence based on deterrence others






2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am sorry Bobby, I am all confused. Who is AUSA, NH, TC, HB, YTB, and CAVA? Are this people or organizations? Please clarify who they are, it can really help understand the information that you have posted. Thank you.

BobbyWC said...

AUSA means assistant united states attorney - in this case Hagen

TV is Tomasita Chavez
NH is Norma Hernandez, HB Hermenia Becerram and Cava citizens against voter abuse

Bobby WC