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Correia to alleged co-conspirator: “If everyone just keeps their mouth shut, we will be ok.”

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Photo courtesy of Josh Souza

Testimony began yesterday and continued today concerning the bribery/extortion portion of the trial against Jasiel Correia II.

The first witness to take the stand today was an owner of an excavator company, Michael Khoury. Khoury was hired by John Perry for a fire line to sprinkler system at 367 Kilburn Street, which is the property owned by Tony Costa that was referenced in yesterday’s testimony involving the Batman watch gift that Costa gave Correia. In evidence it was shown that the permit was pulled after the work was done. The city was billed approximately $11,000 for the job.

In cross examination, Reddington stated that it was the city’s responsibility to repair.

Alleged bribery testimony begins in case of former Fall River mayor Jasiel Correia

The second witness today was Fall River Director of DCM John Perry. According to Perry, a property owner pays for the water work first in normal procedure and then the law department decides if the city or property owner is responsible. Perry said he thought it was odd that Correia asked him to pay the bill and not for it to go through the normal process.

In cross, Reddington stated the city was responsible for the work. Perry responded that it was determined after the fact.

Next up on the stand was former Fall River Corporation Counsel Joseph Macy. Macy stated that he created the required marijuana non-opposition letters and host agreements which was dictated by the Cannabis Control Commission. Macy said that Correia was responsible for approving the 14 non-opposition letters and 14 host agreements in Fall River. According to Macy, Correia never told him that he was taking money for the letters. In evidence, marijuana vendor Charles Saliby’s paperwork showed having to pay $25,000 less than a typical Fall River agreement. Macy said that Saliby complained his location was too small to pay the $50,000. Correia granted Saliby’s request and Macy stated that he did not know that Correia made a separate deal where Saliby would pay Correia cash. According to Macy, he was never told by Correia that he would be taking half of Gen Andrade’s $10,000 snow stipend along with half of her salary.

In cross examination, Reddington points out that out of 14 letters issued from Fall River, only 3 have been granted licenses by the CCC. Macy stated that he thought Correia did a good job as mayor. Reddington reiterates that if the 14 businesses were granted licenses, that would mean more money for the city including the $50,000 a piece and the 3% from gross sales.

Marijuana vendor Brian Bairos was the fourth witness in today’s proceedings. Bairos struck an immunity agreement with the United States Government. In testimony yesterday, Bairos was said to have paid a bribe to Tony Costa for Correia to open a marijuana shop in Fall River. Bairos stated that he had a meeting about his business plans with Correia and Andrade that seemed to go well, but he didn’t hear anything after. Bairos was becoming frustrated and was introduced to Correia’s friend Tony Costa who told him that for a $250,000 bribe that he could receive what he needed. Bairos stated that $150,000 total was eventually agreed upon. Bairos at first thought the bribe was for Costa, but learned it was for Correia. Through testimony and text messages, it was stated that Bairos and Correia had dinner in Boston and also visited a cigar bar after the agreement. At the end of the meeting, Correia told Bairos “Are we all set? Is everything good?” Bairos stated that he believed Correia was referring to the bribe. Bairos later received his non-opposition letter. Bairos stated that he later paid $25,000 in cash to Costa where he believed the money was going to both Costa and Correia as part of the $150,000 agreement. Bairos stated that Costa told him that Correia and Camara didn’t like the money because they believed it was “fed money”. Bairos made more payments through cash and marijuana. He stated that the marijuana was Costa’s idea. Bairos stated that he met Correia at Tel Aviv cigar bar in Providence. Bairos also said that he asked Correia about speeding up the approval process and that Correia asked him if the money was all good yet.

In cross examination, Reddington stated that Bairos and Costa were involved in the negotiations and not Correia and Bairos agreed. Reddington confirmed through evidence that Bairos received the non-opposition letter before he made any payments. Bairos also admitted that he had illegally sold marijuana. In redirect, Bairos stated that he agreed to the bribe before the city had given him any approval.

The next and final witness to take the stand today was alleged Jasiel Correia co-conspirator and friend Hildegar Camara. Camara accepted a plea deal and pled guilty to 6 federal crimes concerning this case including extortions. Camara said he pled guilty because it is true. Camara is facing up to 25 years in prison for allegedly extorting David Brayton and Brian Bairos with Costa and Correia. Camara stated he invested $50,000 in SnoOwl through savings and a line of credit from his credit card. Camara said Correia told him that he sold a previous app for he believed $1,000,000. Court records show that there is no evidence of the Find It Networks app being sold. Camara said he and Costa arranged to take bribes from Brayton and Bairos with Costa re-cooping his SnoOwl investiment. Camara also stated he met Jasiel concerning the bribes and told him he was screwed because Costa’s wife talks and they have cameras everywhere. Camara said that Correia told him in response, “if everyone just keeps their mouth shut, we will be ok. Tony is the only guy that could screw me.” Camara verifies Silva’s testimony from yesterday concerning the watch purchases with Correia. Camara said that around the time of the SnoOwl grand jury, Correia told him he was taking a salary for SnoOwl, which he hadn’t been told previously. Camara stated that later Correia came to his home and they met about getting donations for Correias’s legal defense fund as he owed $460,000 in legal fees. Camara said that both he and Costa were in no position to grant non-opposition letters. Camara went on to say that Costa left $50,000 in his shed from Bairos. Correia came to Camara’s home and they opened the money from the shed in his basement. Camara told him that whichever one of them took the money would be going to jail and that it wasn’t what he signed up for. Camara wiped down the money and returned it to Costa because he became nervous and was afraid of going to jail and wanted to get out. Camara stated that he was worried about Correia concerning the arrest and investigation and that he cared for Correia like a son.

Cross examination will begin on Wednesday.

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