LOS ANGELES – A former Cudahy councilman was sentenced today to three years in federal prison for his part in a scheme to shake down a businessman who wanted to open a medical marijuana dispensary.
Osvaldo Conde, 51, pleaded guilty last August to federal bribery and extortion charges.
U.S. District Judge Manuel L. Real ordered Conde to pay a share of the $17,000 pocketed in the scheme and serve three years under supervised release after he leaves prison. Conde was also ordered to undergo mental health treatment.
Conde apologized in tears for his “stupidity.”
Two co-defendants — also former Cudahy city officials — pleaded guilty and were previously sentenced in the case.
Ex-Mayor David Silva, 62, received one year in federal prison. Angel Perales, 44, Cudahy’s former code enforcement manager, was sentenced to five years of probation. Both defendants were also ordered to pay part of the $17,000 restitution.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph N. Akrotirianakis said the three men took the cash from a marijuana dispensary owner working as an FBI informant.
All three defendants resigned from their city jobs following their arrests.
Conde’s lawyer, Manny Medrano, argued that his client committed the crime out of financial desperation after he lost his life savings and family business.
“He’s not a man driven by unequivocal greed,” Medrano told the court. “You might see that across the street in the city of Bell (case).”
Madrano was referring to a trial in nearby Superior Court where jurors are deliberating the evidence against a former Bell mayor and five ex-city council members accused of misappropriating funds by collecting exorbitant salaries.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Cheryl O’Connor, who asked the judge to sentence Conde to more than seven years behind bars, said the defendant was the leader of the bribery scheme.
She said there was “no excuse for the extensive corrupt behavior that he demonstrated,” adding that Conde’s attempt to cooperate with investigators was “not enough.”