OPINION: This article contains commentary which may reflect the author's opinion
A Democrat is sent to prison for corruption, and the summer is heating up with bad news for the Democrat Party in general as we wind our way toward the big mid-term elections.
Democrats’ negative news headlines are racking up the hits around the American airwaves as details emerge on several fronts about the willingness of some of our civil servants to be corrupt against the citizens who trusted them with significant responsibilities.
And the wheels of justice grind slowly. So here is a timeline of how we got here in the case of first-generation Democrat Mayor of Fall River, Massachusetts -Jasiel Correia.
Oct 2018: First arrest (SnoOwl)
Sept 2019: Second arrest (public corruption)
April 2021: Jury selection in the trial
May 2021: Conviction
Sept. 2021: Sentenced to 6 years in prison
March 2022: Granted 6th extension to report to prison
July 2022: Ordered to Prison
“Correia arrested for allegedly extorting marijuana vendors,” the Boston Globe reported in 2018.
#BREAKING: Former Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia sentenced to 6 years in federal prison
— U.S. Attorney Massachusetts (@DMAnews1) September 21, 2021
“Bairos — one of the pot vendors, caught up in the extortion scandal involving former Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia — violated the terms of his bail in a Brockton sex crime case by threatening the victim, according to Samantha Mullins, the assistant district attorney prosecuting the case.
He had previously been released on personal recognizance, but that was revoked at a bail violation hearing on Tuesday in Brockton Superior Court.
“Bairos, ordered by Judge Brian Glenny, is being held on a $5,000 cash bail with conditions that if he makes bail he [will] serve home confinement and be monitored by a GPS electronic bracelet,” said Beth Stone, spokesperson for the Plymouth County District Attorney’s office, via email Wednesday
Bairos, 43, of West Bridgewater, was arraigned on June 29 in Brockton Superior Court on charges of sex trafficking, two counts of sexual contact with an animal, and two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon,” The Enterprise reported, on what finally got the court’s attention.
“A former Massachusetts Democratic mayor convicted of corruption charges has reported to prison after a court rejected his request for a delay,” The Boston Herald reported on Friday.
Former Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia reported to a federal medium security prison to begin his six-year prison sentence for crimes that a judge called “reprehensible.”
Correia was convicted of defrauding investors in a smartphone app company and extorting money from local marijuana businesses.
“U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock in Boston, Massachusetts, ordered him to be incarcerated for engaging in ‘reprehensible corruption of a type that is incomprehensibly crude,” the outlet reported.
“What I have before me is an absolute lack of remorse,’’ said Woodlock before calling Correia’s corruption scheme “a corrosive crime, it undercuts, it eviscerates a community. If we can’t trust each other if we can’t trust our government, where are we? This is at the core of who we are.”
“There is no showing of actual innocence,” Woodlock said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Zach Hafer argued before the sentencing that Correia’s “old-school corruption” warranted an 11-year prison term. He said he continued breaking the law even when he knew he was under investigation.
“That is the height of chutzpah,” Hafer said.
“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 a sentencing memorandum to the court.
Prosecutors said that before being elected mayor, Correia, a young Providence College graduate, lured investors into sinking $363,690 into SnoOwl, a company developing an app to connect local businesses with consumers.
Prosecutors said Correia stole more than $231,000 to fund his campaign and a lavish lifestyle, including a luxury Mercedes-Benz vehicle, jewelry, casino trips, and strip clubs.
Prosecutors also said that after Correia was elected mayor, he extorted hundreds of thousands of dollars from marijuana companies seeking licenses to open in Fall River.
A jury found Correia guilty on 21 charges, including wire fraud, filing false tax returns, and extortion. However, the judge this week threw out eight of Correia’s wire and tax fraud convictions, finding that prosecutors failed to prove them.
In addition to 11 years in prison, prosecutors are also seeking two years of supervised release, more than $20,000 in restitution to the IRS, $566,740 in forfeiture, and close to $300,000 in restitution to five investors who lost money they put into SnoOwl.
After his conviction, Correia remained defiant, telling reporters that “the justice system failed us. I’m not guilty.”
The defense had sought three years, telling the judge that Correia did a good job for Fall River while serving as the mayor.
“None of that excuses what happened here, but I think it’s required to have a fuller picture of the man and to understand how somebody might get derailed but still have hope to contribute in a future chapter of life,” Attorney William Fick said.
In their story coverage, Conservative Brief reported that ‘Quite a few Democrats have been charged and/or arrested lately.’