Pomierski’s Partner-In-Crime Hennes Gets One Year Sentence

(August 31)  John Hennes, the contractor who aided and abetted disgraced former Upland mayor John Pomierski in schemes to extort bribes from businessmen and others with permit and project applications pending at City Hall, was sentenced on August 27 to  a split year-long sentence consisting of  six months in prison and six months under house arrest.
U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips imposed the sentence, which included a $5,000 fine and two years of post incarceration supervision, nearly nine months after Hennes entered sealed guilty pleas last December to two of the four charges against him, conspiracy to commit bribery and making false statements to federal agents. From that point on and for the next four months, he was secretly cooperating with federal authorities in constructing the criminal case against the former mayor.
Pomierski, who had been Upland mayor since 2000, began shaking down local business owners and operators and others with projects pending at City Hall and before the Upland City Council as early as 2004. Utilizing a business he owned, JP Construction, as well as a construction business owned by Hennes, Pomierski worked with two others, Jason Crebs and Anthony  Sanchez, in perpetrating extortion and pay-off schemes. Those abuses of Pomierski’s authority  targeted applicants for business, operating or construction permits in Upland who would be approached and informed that by securing the consulting services of Hennes, Crebs or Sanchez, approval of those applications could be guaranteed. Hennes was Pomierski’s appointee to the Upland Housing Appeals Board.
Upland City Hall along with the homes of Pomierski and Hennes and the Rancho Cucamonga office of Sanchez’s business were the sites of a raid by search warrant-bearing FBI and IRS agents in June 2010. In January 2011, Crebs and Sanchez were indicted by a federal grand jury for their involvement in a bribery scheme. The last week of February 2011 Pomierski resigned as Upland mayor. On March 2, 2011, Pomierski and Hennes were indicted by a federal grand jury on 11 separate counts including bribery, extortion and conspiracy.
The overt acts described in that indictment included extortion and bribery efforts relating to two businesses in Upland, the Chronic Cantina and H3 Holistic.
On April 18, 2011, Crebs entered a guilty plea to a single count of furthering a bribery conspiracy related to the Chronic Cantina as part of a revamped plea agreement by which he agreed to testify against Pomierski.
Sanchez fled to Costa Rica but returned to Los Angeles in January of this year and was arrested. He subsequently entered a guilty plea.   On April 26 of this year, Pomierski entered a guilty plea to a single count of bribery pertaining to his interaction with the owners of the Chronic Cantina between August 2009 and October 2009 carried out by Sanchez and Crebs, who acted as intermediaries.
On August 6, Phillips sentenced Pomierski to two years in federal prison, including six to eight months of alcohol dependency rehabilitation, as was arranged by Pomierski’s criminal lawyer, H. Dean Steward.
In a statement before Phillips, Hennes acknowledged having broken the law.
Sanchez and Crebs are due to be sentenced on September 10 and on October 1, respectively.

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