The former mayor of Fall River, Massachusetts, Jasiel Correia, on Tuesday was sentenced to six years in prison for extorting cannabis companies during his time in office. U.S. District Court Senior Judge Douglas Woodlock also imposed a three-year sentence of supervised release for the disgraced 29-year-old, who was convicted in May on charges of wire fraud and extortion.
Correia was arrested in 2019 for extorting cannabis companies in exchange for non-opposition letters, which are required under state law in order for cannabusinesses to open in a municipality. He was initially indicted in 2018.
Woodlock on Monday overturned tax and wire fraud convictions related to bilking investors in his SnoOwl app. The judge determined that prosecutors didn’t prove those charges but left the extortion convictions in place.
Correia had solicited bribes ranging from $75,000 to $250,000 in cash, campaign contributions, and other payments from cannabis industry operators and in exchange provided the non-opposition letters.
Nathaniel R. Mendell, acting U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, said that the former mayor “lied to investors, sold his office, and has no remorse for his crimes.”
“Jasiel Correia was a corrupt and deceitful politician who could only be stopped by federal prosecution. Now he is a felon and will be a federal inmate.” – Mandell in a press release
Joseph R. Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division, described Correia “as a pervasive liar who has shown absolutely no remorse or empathy for his victims.”
“Jasiel Correia’s conscious decision to fleece investors, extort hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes, and cheat on his taxes has now cost him his freedom,” Bonavolonta said in a statement.
Corriea had maintained his innocence even after his conviction and has said he would file an appeal.
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