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Red Stevens pleads guilty

Posted: Updated: May 3, 2013 08:41 AM
Robert "Red" Stevens Robert "Red" Stevens

MONROE, La., (KNOE 8 News) -  Former Monroe City Councilman Red Stevens has pleaded guilty in the ongoing case against him.

The trial for both Stevens and Arthur Gilmore has been delayed several times and just recently a motion to separate the trial into one trial for Stevens and a separate one for Gilmore was denied.

U-S Attorney Stephanie A. Finley made the announcement on Thursday, saying that  Robert E. "Red" Stevens, 61, pleaded guilty to accepting cash bribe payments from an FBI cooperating witness in exchange for help with matters pending before the City Council.

The guilty plea was entered in federal court in Shreveport before United States District Judge Donald E. Walter.

Stevens was indicted in 2010 and charged with violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, more commonly known as RICO, and the Hobbs Act, which involves extortion by a public official. During today's court appearance, Stevens pleaded guilty to the RICO violation; pursuant to a plea agreement with the government, the Hobbs Act count will be dismissed after sentencing.

Stevens admitted in court filings that on three separate occasions in 2008 and 2009, he accepted cash bribe payments from a Monroe businessman who was working as a cooperating witness under the direction of the FBI. The payments were in exchange for Stevens' assistance with matters pending before the City Council.

Stevens faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. Sentencing in federal court is governed by the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines and the discretion of the sentencing judge.

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