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Adelanto mayor pro tem accused of taking $10,000 bribe, hiring man to burn down his restaurant

By in Press Enterprise on November 8, 2017

By Beatriz E. Valenzuela

Adelanto Mayor Pro Tem Jermaine Wright was arrested Tuesday and is expected to be in Riverside federal court Wednesday to answer to federal charges he took a $10,000 cash bribe and that he hired a man to burn down his restaurant to collect insurance money, according to a statement from the California States Attorney office.

Wright is accused of asking for and accepting a $10,000 bribe from an undercover FBI agent who told Wright he wanted Wright’s “assistance in navigating city rezoning and code enforcement issues related to a supposed marijuana transportation business,” according to the criminal complaint.

The complaint, filed Monday, also alleges Wright paid another undercover FBI agent $1,500 to burn down his barbeque restaurant, Fat Boyz Grill, at 11619 Rancho Road.

Federal authorities say Wright was caught up in what began as a probe into possible corruption in the city, but led to an informant introducing Wright to both undercover agents and to a series of recorded conversations that investigators say document Wright discussing both the bribe and insurance fraud, according to the affidavit.

If convicted on both counts, Wright is facing a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for the bribery count and up to 20 years in prison for the arson charge. The arson charge also carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five years in prison.

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