Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pontiac City Council Member and Associates Charged with Conspiracy, Bribery, Drug Trafficking, and Aiding and Abetting

Pontiac City Councilman Everett Seay was one of three defendants charged with multiple counts of conspiracy to commit bribery, bribery, drug-related offenses, and aiding and abetting, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade. announced today.

United States Attorney McQuade was joined in the announcement by Robert D. Foley, III, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Indicted was Everett Seay, 61, of Pontiac, Michigan. At the time of the alleged offenses, Seay was a Pontiac city councilman. Also charged, in a separate information, were Richard Clanagan, 69, formerly of Pontiac (a friend, associate, and political advisor of Everett Seay), and Roscoe Johnson, 45, of Detroit (also a friend and associate of Seay’s).

Court documents allege that from May, 2008 through December, 2009, Seay used his position as a councilman to corruptly solicit, demand, and accept money from a businessman interested in setting up a money handling business in the City of Pontiac. Seay did this with the assistance of Clanagan and Johnson. The money was intended to pay Seay for his help in obtaining any necessary legal authorization to do business in Pontiac. Unknown to the defendants, the businessman was actually an undercover FBI agent. During conversations with undercover agents, Seay was informed that the businessman was really a drug dealer who wanted to establish a business in Pontiac to launder proceeds of his unlawful drug trafficking operation.

It is further alleged that the businessman sought and obtained the assistance of Seay in transporting a shipment of 16 kilograms of what Seay believed to be cocaine. In reality it was sham cocaine.

Despite knowing the illegal nature of the business, Seay received and accepted approximately $25,000 for his help in getting the city council to approve the business establishment in the city of Pontiac and $15,000 for his assistance in transporting the shipment of sham cocaine.

United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade said, “Corruption has no place in good government. Public officials have a duty to serve the citizens, not themselves. When they violate that duty, they should expect to be prosecuted.”

Special Agent in Charge Robert D. Foley stated, “Public officials who abuse their power to enrich themselves and commit crimes rather than serving the citizens will be brought to justice. The FBI is committed to the relentless pursuit of those who betray public trust and to ensuring taxpayers have honest government.”

The criminal charges against Everett Seay carry a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on the bribery charges and a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years to life and a fine of up to $10,000,000 on the drug related charges.

Seay will be arraigned this afternoon in federal court in Detroit.

The criminal charges against Richard Clanagan and Roscoe Johnson carry a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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