Ex-mayor reports to prison after losing latest bid for delay

Updated 1:14 p.m.

FALL RIVER (AP) – A former Massachusetts mayor convicted of corruption charges has reported to federal prison after a judge rejected his latest request for a delay. 

The federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed that former Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia entered the Federal Correctional Institution in Berlin, New Hampshire, on Friday as required in order to begin a six-year sentence. 

The medium security prison, located in the state’s northern region that includes the White Mountains, houses nearly 800 male inmates. 

Correia’s date of imprisonment had been put off several times before a federal appellate court refused his request for a delay on April 20. 

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The former mayor was convicted last year of 21 counts for defrauding investors in a smartphone app and for extorting money from marijuana companies. A judge ultimately dismissed 10 charges, leaving 11 convictions to stand. 

Correia is appealing the verdict, and his lawyers argue he should be allowed to stay out of prison pending his appeal. 

They’ve been able to stave off his prison term for some 20 weeks after his initial report date, to the frustration of some in the former manufacturing center south of Boston, where he was seen as a rising political star when first elected mayor in 2015 at age 23. 

“Hopefully, this is the end of a long saga for the city and we can move on from that and let people move on to make Fall River a better place to live,” Mayor Paul Coogan, who defeated Correia in an election in 2019, told the Fall River Herald earlier this week. “This has been going on for a long time.” 

Correia, who has maintained his innocence, was initially granted a reprieve to help out in his in-laws’ restaurant over the Christmas holiday. He was granted subsequent delays because of an outbreak of COVID-19 at FCI Berlin and for his attorneys to file his appeal. 

Correia’s attorneys didn’t respond to an email seeking comment Friday. 

(Updates: Story updated throughout with Correia reporting to prison)

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