A former longtime Houston-area law enforcement official and two of his staff members have pleaded guilty for their roles in accepting bribes to run illegal searches for businesses on a national crime database.
Ex-Harris County Precinct 1 Constable Jack Abercia, along with Weldon Kenneth Wiener, his ex-chief lieutenant, and Michael Butler, a former office chief, were charged last year in a 13-count indictment after an investigation by the FBI, Houston police and Texas Rangers.
The three men had initially pleaded not guilty.
But during a federal court hearing Thursday in Houston, Abercia pleaded guilty to 11 counts of exceeding authorized computer access. Wiener and Butler each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy.
Each defendant faces up to five years in prison, but prosecutors are recommending probation for them.