When City Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Jermaine Wright was arrested last November, the city of Adelanto became the latest inland region municipality to become embroiled in a corruption scandal.
Wright was not only charged with accepting bribes, he was also accused of asking an undercover FBI agent to burn down his restaurant so he could collect insurance payouts.
According to the complaint, Wright reached an agreement with an undercover FBI agent acting as an owner of a marijuana cultivation business to vote in favor of opening additional parts of Adelanto to marijuana growth in exchange for $20,000. Wright allegedly instructed the agent to make the payment through a third party and claimed that, ““keeps us out of jail.” For an additional $15,000, Wright later agreed to fast track the agent’s marijuana business proposal. Although the money never exchanged hands in these cases, the agent later gave Wright a purported $10,000 payment for future assistance on council votes related to the business of marijuana.
Wright’s reported misdeeds did not end there. In a separate plot, he sought to hire another undercover agent to burn down his restaurant so he could claim a $300,000 insurance payment. Wright has admitted the plot.
Last week while Wright’s case works its way through the judicial system the FBI opened a new front in the Adelanto corruption case when it raided the home of Adelanto Mayor Rich Kerr, City Hall, a local marijuana dispensary and the offices of an attorney who represents the dispensary’s owner.
Little information about the new raids was available because the warrants are under seal according to the FBI. The IE Voice will continue to follow this story.