Attorney convicted in Delgado bribery case out of prison

McALLEN — The attorney who helped the government take down a state judge in a bribery case has been released from prison and placed in a halfway house, records show.

Federal Bureau of Prisons records show Noe Perez was released from a prison in California to a community confinement facility, or a halfway house at the end of July after serving less than a year in federal prison. Perez surrendered to the California prison in mid-November of last year.

The facility Perez was released to is located in San Antonio.

Known as a Residential Reentry Management field office, its staff is responsible for providing “federal offenders with community-based services that will assist with their reentry needs,” according to the facility’s website.

Generally offenders reside and sleep overnight at the facility during the week, Monday through Thursday. Eligible offenders have the option to use “weekend passes” to spend Friday and Saturday overnight away from the facility; but must report back Sunday evening. Offenders are required to be employed during their time at the halfway house.

Perez, 60, cooperated with the government to help convict Rodolfo “Rudy” Delgado, a state district judge who was found guilty of performing judicial favors for Perez in exchange for cash bribes.

Last September, U.S. District Judge Alfred H. Bennett sentenced Perez to a two-year prison sentence for his role in giving bribes to Delgado, which also led to his arrest and conviction after a federal trial in July. In addition to the prison sentence, the court will require Perez to remain on supervised release for an additional two years.

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, who has been practicing law in the state since the early 2000s, testified these visits were convenient for him. He could actually buy wood which helped him “disguise” the reason for being at the judge’s residence.

He 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 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. During the trial, Perez was facing a maximum of five years in prison.

Ultimately, Bennett sentenced the disgraced judge to a five-year prison sentence. He has recently appealed to be released amid concerns over COVID-19, which have been subsequently denied. The 67-year-old Delgado is set to be released from a facility in Fort Worth in February 2024.

According to the bureau’s records, Perez is set to be released from community confinement at the end of July 2021.