Attorney Noe Perez, informant at heart of Delgado bribery case, gets 2 years in prison

McALLEN — The man who helped the government convict a state district judge on bribery charges was finally sentenced for his role in the scheme that led to the investigation.

U.S. District Judge Alfred H. Bennett sentenced Noe Perez to two years in prison for his role in giving bribes to former state District Judge Rodolfo “Rudy” Delgado, which also led to his arrest and conviction after a federal trial in July.

Perez was the government’s star witness in the aforementioned trial, during which he testified to bribing Delgado in exchange for judicial favors in Delgado’s courtroom.

Perez was indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit bribery last May, three months after Delgado’s arrest on several bribery and fraud charges related to an investigation into the judge, who federal agents were looking into for allegedly accepting bribes from attorneys in exchange for favors in his courtroom.

On May 11, Perez pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds, according to court records.

During his time on the stand in the trial, Perez testified about his encounters with the judge, describing how he would visit the judge’s Edinburg home and give the judge money for firewood. In exchange, he hoped the judge would act favorably to him and his clients when Perez was in his court.

Perez testified these visits were convenient for him, where he could actually buy wood which helped him “disguise” the reason for being at the judge’s residence.

Perez, who has been practicing law in the state since the early 2000s, also characterized himself as a “hoodrat” attorney, a “hustler,” who considered the profession a job that needed to be hustled in order to be successful.

During testimony, it was revealed that Perez was accused by a client of attempting to “hustle” them for more money; which brought the attention squarely on Perez after the client went to the feds to complain.

It was during this encounter that Perez, facing the possibility of being under investigation himself, told agents of Delgado and the bribes he had made to him.

Perez, who testified as a way to potentially be eligible for a reduced sentence given his cooperation as a government informant from June 2016 until Delgado’s arrest in February 2018, and during the trial, was facing up to five years in prison.