Updated news on the Gambino, Genovese, Bonanno, Lucchese and Colombo Organized Crime Families of New York City.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Former NLR alderman gets 4-month prison term for public corruption

Former North Little Rock Alderman Cary Gaines was sentenced in U.S. District Court today to four months in prison for conspiring to rig city bids.
Former North Little Rock Alderman Cary Gaines talks to reporters outside the federal courthouse in Little Rock on Friday after being sentenced to four months in prison. 

Gaines pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge in December. Sentencing guidelines called for a sentence of 12-18 months, but federal prosecutors asked for a lower sentence because Gaines resigned his city post and testified in the trial of former City Council colleague Sam Baggett and reputed mobster George Wylie Thompson of Cabot.
All three were named in a 2009 indictment.
Baggett, who faced federal weapons-related charges in his dealings with Thompson, was convicted in a trial in December with Thompson, who was convicted on gambling and other felony charges. The two await sentencing.
Federal prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Bill Wilson to sentence Gaines to three months of home detention and probation in “return for his substantial cooperation” in the prosecution of Baggett and Thompson.
“I am so ashamed of what I did,” Gaines to the judge in court. “I have learned my lesson.”
Wilson agreed, but sent the former city official to prison anyway.
“In view of the cooperation, I’m going to go below guidelines. But I can’t go probation. It wouldn’t be fair to the people of North Little Rock,” the judge said.
Wilson did not impose a fine and gave Gaines 45 days to get his affairs in order before reporting to federal prison, on June 6 at a facility either at Texarkana, Texas, or at Millington, Tenn., a suburb of Memphis.
Prosecutors said Gaines became involved in a scheme — never carried out — to rig bids for a vendor who would then direct kickbacks to Thompson, who prosecutors allege is connected to the Colombo crime family.
Gaines said in previous court testimony he had owed Thompson up to $30,000 and was trying to pay off gambling debts.
Gaines also was charged with lying to federal agents, but that charge was dropped when he pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge.
“What he actually did was get a project through for the citizens of North Little Rock,” Banks said. “He was trying to get something done but no money ever passed hands.”
Thompson, who still faces another federal trial in Boston, had the conspiracy charge against him dropped by federal prosecutors after he was convicted on drug trafficking charges in 2010. He faces 10 years in prison on the drug conviction.



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