FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — Time is almost up for disgraced former Fall River Mayor Jasiel Correia, who’s expected to self-surrender to a New Hampshire prison by noon Friday.
Correia has been ordered to report to the Federal Correctional Institution in Berlin after the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied his request to further delay his prison sentence.
The decision to finally send Correia to prison follows growing criticism from some members of the public, who have expressed dismay that the former mayor had been allowed to remain free for so long despite being convicted and sentenced.
Correia was convicted by a jury last year of 21 counts of fraud, extortion and conspiracy for defrauding investors in his tech app SnoOwl and extorting bribes from marijuana vendors who wanted to open stores in the city. The vendors needed city approvals in the form of a host community agreement and non-opposition letter before going on to the state Cannabis Control Commission.
The judge overseeing Correia’s trial, U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock, later tossed out 10 counts on technicalities, but still sentenced Correia to pay restitution to the victims in the dismissed counts. He also sentenced Correia to six years in prison for the remaining 11 counts.
Woodlock went on to grant Correia numerous delays in reporting to prison, first allowing him to work at his wife’s family’s restaurant over the Christmas season, then citing COVID and the need to give Correia time to file his appeal.
While Woodlock ultimately denied Correia’s request to stay out on bail until after the appeal, he gave him a couple extra weeks of freedom to appeal that decision.
The medium-security federal prison Correia is scheduled to report to houses nearly 800 inmates.
The prison’s handbook states that inmates must wake up at 6 a.m., report to their job assignments on time and keep their cells clean. Visitors must be approved by the prison and arrive during regular visiting hours, which are between 8:15 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and federal holidays.
Fall River Mayor Paul Coogan tells 12 News he hopes this saga will finally come to an end once Correia is in prison.
Correia is scheduled to have a GPS monitoring bracelet removed in Massachusetts before surrendering in New Hampshire, though it’s unclear exactly when that will happen.
Steph Machado contributed to this report.