Case against men charged with illegal voting moves forward

The cases against four Starr County men who were arrested last year on illegal voting charges will move forward after a grand jury issued indictments against them last week.

The four men — Rigoberto Vela, 49, Oscar Ivan Peña, 24, Reynaldo Moreno, 49, and Rogelio Garcia, 44 — were each indicted on a charge of illegal voting for allegedly casting votes during elections held in 2016 despite being on felony probation.

Vela allegedly cast a ballot on Feb. 20, 2016 as part of the March 2016 Democratic Primary, Peña is accused of voting on Oct. 25, 2016 in the November 2016 elections for the city of Escobares, Moreno is accused of voting on Nov. 1, 2016 in the November 2016 city of Roma elections, while Garcia is accused of voting on May 18, 2016 in a runoff election for the 2016 Democratic Primary.

Their indictments were signed on July 24 and all were issued a $5,000 bond except for Garcia, who was issued a $1,000 bond.

The men were initially arrested in February 2018 by investigators with the Starr County Special Crimes Unit. Their arrests stemmed from a review of registration records that the Starr County elections department had turned over to the district attorney’s office.

The review of those records was part of a larger investigation into voter fraud that the district attorney’s office had launched a month earlier in January 2018.