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Former Puerto Rico mayor caught on film in bribery case faces 5 years in prison

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A former Puerto Rico mayor who was caught on film in a high-profile bribery case was sentenced Monday to more than five years in prison as part of an ongoing federal crackdown on government corruption in the U.S. territory.

Ángel Pérez Otero, a former lawmaker who also was president of the island's Federation of Mayors and served as mayor of Guaynabo from 2017 to 2021, had been found guilty of conspiracy, bribery and extortion in March.

He had been accused of awarding contracts and expediting invoice payments in exchange for thousands of dollars in cash as part of a scheme that federal authorities said ran from late 2019 through May 2021.

Attorneys for Pérez said they plan to appeal.

Pérez is one of several former mayors who have been sentenced in federal bribery cases in recent years, including those of the towns of Rincon, Guayama, Humacao, Aguas Buenas and Trujillo Alto.