A former U.S. Department of Transportation worker has pleaded guilty to extortion charges and faces up to two decades in prison.

Fifty-four year old Texas resident and former Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) border investigator Patrick Gorena pleaded guilty to a charge of extortion under color of law, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas.

Authorities say that “Gorena admitted that when auditing a trucking company, he did not report safety violations that would have exposed the company to potential fines and the loss of their DOT license. In return, Gorena demanded $3,500.”

Gorena was eventually caught accepting $2,000 from an undercover agent posing as a representative from a trucking company.

Sentencing is scheduled for April 18, 2023.

Gorena faces up to 20 years in prison.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Transportation – Office of the Inspector General and the FBI.

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