Tony Costa pleaded guilty almost two years ago to helping former Fall River Mayor Jasiel F. Correia II extort businessmen who wanted to open marijuana dispensaries in his city.

Federal prosecutors relied on Costa to explain how exactly cash was passed between marijuana businesses and the mayor’s office. Costa described one exchange where he left an envelope stuffed with $25,000 inside a shed between his house and the house of one of Correia’s most trusted aides at City Hall.

Correia, who was first elected in 2015 as the youngest mayor in Fall River’s history, was convicted last Friday of 21 counts of extortion, fraud and tax evasion. Now that his trial is over, Costa and several others who pleaded guilty to abetting the pay-to-play scheme are set to receive their sentences.

Prosecutors promised to seek a lighter punishment in exchange for Costa’s testimony, but it’s a judge who will make the final decision about Costa’s sentence on June 24.

The same is true for three other defendants, all of whom received cooperation agreements from the federal government.

Gen Andrade, Correia’s former chief of staff, is set to receive her sentence on June 10. As part of her agreement, prosecutors promised to recommend a sentence without jail time.

Andrade never testified during the four-week trial, and Correia was ultimately acquitted of several crimes that Andrade pleaded guilty to.

Correia’s former landlord, David Hebert, is scheduled to appear at a sentencing hearing on July 14. Hebert pleaded guilty in 2019 to arranging a series of illegal contributions to Correia’s re-election campaign from a businessman seeking the mayor’s approval for a proposed dispensary.

The remaining defendant, Hildegar Camara, has not been scheduled yet for sentencing. He pleaded guilty at the same time as Costa and Hebert.

Correia himself is scheduled to be sentenced on September 20. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.

Ben Berke is the South Coast Bureau Reporter for The Public’s Radio. He can be reached at