The Massachusetts marijuana sector requirements protection. Not only are there additional and additional stories of cities and towns going beyond their host neighborhood agreements to shake a handful of additional dollars out of pot companies, now, a major city mayor has been arrested on charges of allegedly extorting marijuana vendors for money, according to authorities.
Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia II was arrested in his dwelling on Friday.
As the Herald’s Joe Dwinell reported, the U.S. Attorney’s Workplace announced the arrest by way of Twitter early Friday and a video of his arrest has surfaced from the Fall River Herald News. At Friday’s press conference it was announced Correia, 27, is charged with bribery extortion conspiracy extortion and aiding and abetting wire fraud and filing false tax returns.
According to the indictment, Correia agreed to challenge non-opposition letters to marijuana vendors, which are expected in order to operate in Massachusetts, in return for money bribes and other payments.
“The spend-to-play activities alleged in the indictment, if they’re accurate, are uncommon in how brazen they are,” U.S. Lawyer Andrew Lelling stated. “If the indictment is right, Mayor Correia apparently, with out hesitation, was extorting marijauna vendor following marijuana vendor.”
The bribes alleged Friday ranged from about $100,000 to $250,000 in money, campaign contributions and mortgage discharges — in return for non-opposition letters and host neighborhood agreements, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Workplace.
The U.S. Attorney’s Workplace added: “To date, Correia has issued at least 14 non-opposition letters for marijuana companies to operate in Fall River, such as two for his present girlfriend’s brother.”
By all appearances, Mayor Correia is a crook’s crook. He was currently facing charges for stealing investor funds intended for his app business. Prosecutors say he employed investor funds as his “personal ATM” to love a lavish way of life and spend student loan debt. That trial starts in February.
Extremely, the 27-year-old Correia is operating for re-election, in spite of his legal troubles.
Not absolutely everyone is Mayor Correia but pot shops have been dealing with harassment given that doors opened in 2018, according to Jim Borghesani, former communications director for the 2016 legalization campaign and present cannabis sector consultant.
“I applaud US Lawyer Lelling for bringing forward charges in a classic municipal spend-for-play bribery scheme,” Borghesani stated in a statement. “But I hope that this egregious instance does not eclipse the equivalent economic shakedowns on the cannabis sector present in practically just about every Host Neighborhood Agreement signed to date in Massachusetts. Lelling has set a superior instance for the CCC and state leaders to adhere to.”
There are efforts underway on Beacon Hill to safeguard the sector from communities going about the host agreements for extra cash-grabs. The Fall River developments indicate that even stronger protections should be place in location by lawmakers.
Marijuana companies in compliance with the law are as legal as any other venture and should love the very same sufficient protections as these other companies. The objectives of eliminating the black marketplace and creating income rely on it.