The Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog

Bribery, Weed, and Massage Parlor Hookers: It's 'Politics, Bro'

There are three sure things in life. Death, taxes, and corrupt politicians. Now, three politicians from Cudahy, California have just been arrested for soliciting bribes from an FBI informant, reports NBC Los Angeles.

In Perales' own words, it's "politics, bro."

The three unwise men have been identified as Councilmember Osvaldo Conde, Mayor David Silva and Angel Perales, head of code enforcement for the city of Cudahy.

If you're wondering where Cudahy is, that's a completely fair question. It's a miniscule dot on a map near Bell in Los Angeles County. According to the census, it is exactly 1.175 square miles in size.

Also, you remember their neighbor, the City of Bell, right? Their city officials became the poster-people for corruption, especially former City Manager Robert Rizzo.

Perhaps inspired by their comrades, located less than two miles north, the trio allegedly sought out bribes from an FBI informant in exchange for approving a marijuana dispensary. Wonderful phrases, such as "sure thing" were reportedly tossed around, as were casual mentions of a massage parlor -- owned by Perales and Conde -- offering illicit sexual services.

According to the complaints, provided by NBC, the trio have each been charged with an offense under 18 U.S.C. 666, a federal anti-corruption statute.

The statute declares that anyone who solicits or accepts a bribe of $5,000 or more in value in exchange for influence in connection with a business transaction or government or agency transaction faces a fine and up to ten years in prison.

The investigation and supporting evidence is fascinating, and includes sting operations at an El Pollo Loco and attractive women with firearms. Expect the story to be optioned into a movie shortly.

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