Massachusetts mayor gets 6 years in prison for marijuana bribery scheme

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The former mayor of a small Massachusetts town received a six-year prison term after his conviction earlier this year on charges including fraud and extortion tied to the licensing of local marijuana businesses.

Jasiel Correia, the ex-mayor of Fall River, was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Court Judge Douglas Woodlock for extorting hundreds of thousands of dollars from cannabis entrepreneurs hoping to win business permits.

Correia was convicted in May on charges of wire fraud, extortion and extortion conspiracy, and prosecutors had asked for an 11-year prison sentence.

During the sentencing hearing, according to the Associated Press, the judge blasted Correia, saying that during his tenure as mayor, “City Hall was for sale.”

Correia, however, told reporters after his hearing that he turned down a plea deal because he’s innocent of the charges, the AP reported.

“The justice system has failed us,” Correia said after his sentence was handed down.

It’s not yet clear when his prison term will begin.