1 sentenced in Miami Beach corruption probe

Vicente Santiesteban sentenced to 60 days in prison

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MIAMI - One of eight people arrested in a corruption investigation in Miami Beach has been sentenced.

Vicente Santiesteban was sentenced to 60 days in prison, 10 months of home confinement, and one year of supervised release. Santiesteban and seven others were arrested in April.

Authorities said Jose L. Alberto, the lead code compliance officer for the city of Miami Beach, city code compliance officers Willie E. Grant, Orlando E. Gonzalez, Ramon D. Vasallo and Santiesteban, and firefighters Henry L. Bryant and Chai D. Footman, are accused of participating in a scheme to extort cash payments from a South Beach nightclub.

Prosecutors said the suspects demanded thousands of dollars in bribes from an unidentified Miami Beach nightclub owner in return for looking the other way on safety and fire code violations.

U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said the incident began in June 2011, when Alberto solicited a cash payoff from the nightclub owner, who then contact the FBI. Ferrer said investigators installed an undercover agent as the club's manager, and over the next seven months, he paid cash bribes totaling more than $25,000 to the seven Miami Beach workers.

Prosecutors said Bryant and Miami-Dade police Officer Daniel L. Mack also were charged in a cocaine trafficking conspiracy.

According to investigators, they used the officer's police uniform and cruiser to provide protection for the delivery of a number of kilos of cocaine from Miami Beach to Miami.

Bryant and Footman have pled guilty. They will be sentenced in December.

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