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Former Loretta Sanchez Foe Convicted For Obstructing An Investigation

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SANTA ANA (CBS) — Tan Duc Nguyen, a Republican candidate who twice failed to unseat Democrat Loretta Sanchez, got good news and bad news Tuesday.

The good news: A federal jury could not reach a verdict on an obstruction of justice charge so a mistrial was declared.

The bad news: the jury was able to reach a verdict, and it was a guilty one, for Nguyen on a charge of trying to obstruct a probe.

He was accused of sending a letter to 14,000 immigrant voters warning them that they would be prosecuted and deported for voting in the 2006 general election.

This was Nguyen’s second trial on the charges. A mistrial was declared back in August when a jury failed to reach a guilty verdict on both counts.

After the verdicts were read Tuesday, Nguyen told reporters that he felt relief that “it’s somewhat over.”

He added, “the last four years this has been more of a nightmare than anything.”

Nguyen had originally told investigators he had no knowledge of the letter but prosecutors showed the jury copies of e-mails between Nguyen and an associate discussing it openly.

Nguyen’s attorney, H. Dean Steward, said it was likely his client would appeal.

Nguyen is scheduled to be sentenced in February. He was allowed to remain free on bail until that time.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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