Carlos Villalobos Organista was Sonora’s treasurer for the last administration that left office in 2015. He was arrested in Scottsdale last April after his visa expired.
He’s been in custody since.
A federal judge Thursday agreed that Villalobos should be released from immigration custody on a $20,000 bond while he pursues asylum in the U.S.
Lawyers for the Justice Department had argued that Villalobos was wanted in Sonora for making $78 million in illicit payment during the last governor administration.
That governor, Guillermo Padrés, is currently imprisoned on corruption charges. Villalobos' attorney contended the warrants didn't exist.
He had requested asylum under the Convention Against Torture. The judge ordered that he must be able to pay the bond by next Tuesday.