Federal prosecutors are seeking an 11-year sentence for the former mayor of Fall River, Massachusetts after he was found guilty in May of extorting cannabis businesses, the Associated Press reports. Jasiel Correia, 29, was arrested in 2019 on charges of extortion and fraud and was ultimately found guilty on all of the 21 charges levied against him.
In court documents filed last week, prosecutors also asked a judge to order the former mayor to pay nearly $300,000 in restitution to investors and more than $20,000 to the IRS, and forfeit more than $560,000, the report says.
Correia has appealed the conviction and, following the May verdict, was confident he would win the challenge.
“There were no facts that were brought forward, there was no overwhelming evidence. Unfortunately, there was a couple things that didn’t go our way that were technical today and that’s where we’ll be on grounds for appeal and we’ll win that appeal and I will be vindicated, and my future will be very long and great.”—Correia, following his conviction on May 16, 2020, via the New York Times
In the sentencing documents, prosecutors argued that Correia is “remorseless and without empathy for his victims.”
“The betrayal of people who considered him like family, the pervasive lying, cheating, stealing, and blame-shifting, and the egregious breaches of the public trust must be met with a sentence that thoroughly repudiates the defendant’s abhorrent conduct and deters both this defendant and others like him from doing it again,” prosecutors wrote in the documents.
Correia solicited bribes ranging from $75,000 to $250,000 in cash, campaign contributions, and other payments from cannabis industry operators. He also bilked investors in his app, SnoOwl, out of at least $360,000. He was first elected in 2015 at just 23-years-old. In 2019 he was both removed from his Massachusetts office and voted back in during a special election in March. He would ultimately lose his re-election bid in November 2019 to Paul Coogan.
Get daily cannabis business news updates. Subscribe