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Ex-Cudahy Official Sentenced To 5 Years Probation In Extortion Scheme

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A former Cudahy city official was sentenced Monday to five years of probation for his part in a scheme to extort a businessman who wanted to open a medical marijuana dispensary in the city.

Former code enforcement officials, Angel Perales, pleaded guilty in August to federal extortion and bribery charges, along with former city councilman Osvaldo Conde and former Mayor David Silva.

Along with probation, Perales was also sentenced to complete 1,500 hours of community service and pay $5,000 he received to the FBI. Perales was barred from working for any state or local government agency without approval from the court.

Perales tearfully apologized to “the people of Cudahy. I have violated their trust by doing unspeakable acts.”

Perales was accused of brokering the $17,000 bribery scheme.

In successfully arguing for probation for Perales, defense attorney Carlos Juarez said his client had cooperated with the government “from the first moment” he was contacted, and had worn a wire as part of the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph N. Akrotirianakis had recommended a two-year prison sentence.

Prosecutors said Perales, Conde and Silva took cash payouts from a marijuana dispensary owner working as an FBI informant. All three men resigned from their city jobs.

Silva was scheduled to be sentenced Monday, but that hearing was delayed for a week. Conde will be sentenced at a later date.

(©2012 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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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