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State funded grant helps Kleberg County D.A. clear smuggling cases at quicker rate

Kleberg District Attorney John Hubert said his office's smuggling cases are moving at a quicker speed now.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A new state funded grant is helping Kleberg County District Attorney John Hubert move cases more quickly when it comes to certain crimes.

"The governor and the legislature have made funds available through the border prosecution grant that has enabled us to hire two prosecutors that were able to move those cases," Hubert said.

Assistant District Attorney Jimmie Halloway is one of the prosecutors at the office who benefits from the grant. He told 3NEWS that the grant allows him to tackle crimes such as drug and human smuggling, and said he’s got plenty of cases to handle. 

"I have about between 100-200 active cases and new ones coming in all the time," he said. "We’re combining both in person and some zoom hearings. So, we’re moving along and catching up with the backlog that was created by COVID.”

Hubert explains that those cases are now moving at lightning speed.

"Right now if we get a case in we’re able to indicted or take it to the grand jury for review and at least within that month or the next month," he said.

Hubert also points out that state lawmakers passed a law that allows prosecutors to charge smugglers with a felony instead of a misdemeanor. 

”One person told me last week that that was probably the most significant change to the criminal code in the past decade," he said.

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