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Isaac Galvan, former Compton city councilman, indicted for corruption

A former Compton City Council member who found himself in legal trouble in the past has been arrested on suspicion of participating in a bribery scheme to obtain marijuana permits , said the US Attorney’s Office.

Isaac Galvan and an Arcadia businessman bribed Ricardo Pacheco while he was a Baldwin Park city councilman with $70,000 for permits, according to a 10-count indictment unsealed Monday.

Galvan, 36, served on the Compton City Council from 2013 until 2022, when he lost his seat amid a voter fraud scandal.

Also arrested was Yichang Bai, owner of the Arcadia company, on whose behalf Galvan allegedly negotiated the bribes.

Galvan and Bai were charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of bribery and eight counts of honest services wire fraud.

The project reportedly began sometime after 2017, when Baldwin Park began issuing permits for marijuana cultivation and distribution facilities.

Pacheco — who pleaded guilty in 2021 to accepting nearly $40,000 in bribes to support the city’s police association contract — began soliciting bribes for permits and development deals in Baldwin Park, according to federal officials.

“In exchange for illicit payments, Pacheco agreed to use his position in city government to help businesses obtain marijuana permits, including voting in their favor,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement. communicated.

In August 2017, Galvan allegedly paid Pacheco $10,000 to ensure he would obtain a marijuana license for a future consulting client.

Bai then hired Galvan as a consultant, and Galvan allegedly arranged payments of $70,000 from Bai to Pacheco. The councilman ultimately voted in favor of Bai’s marijuana license and voted to approve Bai’s business moving to Baldwin Park. Law enforcement officials did not say whether Pacheo had been charged in the bribery scandal, but noted that he had signed a plea agreement “in which (he) agreed to cooperate in the government’s ongoing investigation.

If convicted, Galvan and Bai face a maximum sentence of five years for conspiracy, a 10-year sentence for bribery, and up to 20 years for each honest services wire fraud charge.

Attorneys for Galvan, Bai and Pacheo could not be reached for comment.

The corruption charges are not the first criminal allegations Galvan has faced.

In 2021, he was investigated for election fraud following the Compton City Council runoff between him and Andre Spicer.

Galvan won the election by a single vote, but four of the votes cast for Galvan were disqualified after a judge ruled that the ballots were submitted by people who did not live in the contested precinct.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office charged Galvan and six others with conspiracy to commit election fraud. Galvan has pleaded not guilty and the case is ongoing.

According to the DA’s office, Galvan conspired with one of his primary election opponents, Jace Dawson, to send voters who lived outside the council district to vote for Galvan.

Spicer secured the council seat in 2022. Galvan was also fined $240,000 for campaign finance violations.