SCU Continues Investigation in Tampering Case

A 23-year-old employee of a known law firm, Edwin Duran was arrested last Friday on four counts of tampering with or fabrication of physical evidence and four counts of tampering with governmental records.
Duran who is employed with the law firm of Calixtro Villarreal is accused of erasing and switching information on a Motion for Bond Reduction from “DENIED” order to “GRANTED” order.
Villarreal was the defense attorney of Anthony De La Cruz who was arrested by the Rio Grande City Police Department in early August in connection to a number of burglaries. According to jail records for his initial arrest his bond was set at $5,000 for each of the two counts of theft and $50,000 for the charge of burglary by Rio Grande City Municipal Judge Basilio “Bacho” Villarreal. Unofficial sources close to the defense attorney explain that the defense attorney had come to an agreement with the prosecution on a bond reduction although that amount cannot be confirmed at this time.
The defense attorney prepared a Motion for Bond Reduction and it was presented to RGC Municipal Judge Basilio “Bacho” Villarreal on the 21st of August. Judge Villarreal denied the order and his court kept a copy of the original signed order. The complaint states that the next day Duran took the original order to the Starr County Jail and presented it to Officer D. Villarreal. Corporal A. Garcia and Lieutenant B. Perez inspected the order and they realized the bond amounts did not match their records. RGC Municipal Court Clerk Akiza Clarke was asked about the order and she stated it had been denied. Lt. Perez noticed that the original orders appeared to have white correction fluid or tape on the area that said “DENIED”.
In the complaint Duran asked Corporal A. Garcia to sign a copy of the document and he signed the first page of each of the copies, although it does not clarify how many copies there were. That same day according to the complaint, Calixtro Villarreal met with Judge Basilio “Bacho” Villarreal and turned in copies signed by Corporal Garcia. Those copies showed that the bond reduction had been denied.
Edwin Duran stated that he received the original signed orders from the Municipal Court and believed that the orders had been granted.
Duran was given a $5,000 surety bond for each count of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence and $5,000 PR bond for each count of tampering with governmental record by Justice of the Peace Chuy Alvarez. Duran was released the same day after posting bond.
Last week several units of the Starr County Special Crimes Unit were seen outside the attorney’s office but those close to the case state investigators requested documentation and left.

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