When state governments and federal authorities, especially the Democrats, were peddling the idea of legalizing the sale and use of marijuana (cannabis), one of their big selling points was that it would remove organized crime from trafficking in marijuana. However, it seems all that was done was switching traffickers from organized crime to elected politicians who see a lucrative sideline in selling large-volumes of pot.
For example, marijuana was legalized in the state of Massachusetts since 2016, but because of some bureaucratic difficulties in getting government approval letters to retail marijuana shops, only 24 pot dispensaries exist there — giving local government leaders like Fall River, Massachusetts, Democratic Mayor Jasiel Correia an opportunity to play “lawman” and “criminal” at the same time.
In addition to Mayor Correia, his former Chief of Staff Genoveva Andrade, “Antonio Costa, 51, of Fall River; Hildegar Camara, 58, of Fall River; and David Hebert, 54, of Westport were also arrested and charged.
The young mayor – he’s only 27-years-old and in his second term – and all of the other suspects were charged with extortion conspiracy, extortion and providing false statements to authorities. Meanwhile, Correia and Andrade face a number of other series of federal charges including bribery and theft.
Mayor Correia entered a not guilty plea during his appearance in federal court on Friday afternoon, but at least three others involved and connected to his administration have accepted plea deals with the U.S. Attorney’s office. “I won’t be surprised to hear that those three who took the plea deal will testify against their former boss in front of a grand jury and later during the actual trial unless ‘he cops a plea’ with the federal U.S. Attorney’s Office,” said Walter Scanlon, a former narcotics enforcement officer..
This case is not the first case federal federal law enforcement have attempted to catch Correia other crimes. He pleaded not guilty to FBI’s charges against him which included filing false tax returns (tax evasion, the charge that ended the career of top Chicago gang boss Al Capone) and wire fraud. He was acquitted by the jury and after beating a recall election, the mayor kept his seal as the city’s mayor.
But the prosecutors claims that he is fervent about seeing Fall River’s years of being run “as a pay-to-play scheme” stopped permanently
“When it comes to public corruption in Massachusetts., [my] office is the primary deterrent,” Lelling informed reporters during a press briefing on Friday.
“I take that seriously, and we will continue to aggressively pursue corruption in local, city and state governments.”
According to the United States Census of 2010, the population of Fall River is 88,857.
Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia was arrested this morning by @FBIBoston IRS-CI & @HUDOIG special agents at his home. He’s accused of conspiring to extort hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from marijuana companies. Details to follow at 11 a.m. press conference @DMAnews1
9:21 AM – Sep 6, 2019
Also arrested was Genoveva Andrade, the former chief of staff to Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia, on extortion and bribery charges. She was taken into custody in Boston by @FBIBoston