Celona faces the music

UPDATE: The ProJo is reporting that Celona got 2 1/2 years.

Deadline commitments are keeping me from the sentencing this morning in US District Court of former state Senator John Celona of North Providence, a central figure in the ongoing probe of State House influence-peddling. While US Attorney Robert Clark Corrente described the status of this investigation as "extremely active" in January 2006, further developments -- including the recent indictment of two men linked with drugstore giant CVS -- have happened quite slowly. Celona, meanwhile, has faced the discovery of dead rodents placed near the front of his home because of his role in offering testimony.

The big question remains, of course, one of just how high this investigation goes.

In rereading Mike Stanton's The Prince of Providence, I've been reminded of how luck can play a big role in a federal investigation. As Stanton's excellent book describes, the FBI's Dennis Aiken kept digging until Tony Freitas emerged as a key player in what would become the Plunder Dome case against Buddy Cianci.

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