Former Police Chief Jailed For VOTER FRAUD

Jerry Trabona, a former Amite City police chief, was sentenced to one year in prison yesterday for violating federal election laws as part of a conspiracy to pay, or offer to pay, voters for participating in a federal election. Kristian “Kris” Hart, a current Amite City councilmember, was sentenced to one year in prison as well.

The former police chief also had to pay a $10,000 fine in addition to his prison term. Today, a second conspirator received a four-month prison term for his part in the conspiracy.

In a statement, the DOJ said,  “According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Jerry Trabona, 73, the former Chief of Police in Amite City, and Kristian “Kris” Hart, 50, a former Amite City councilmember, agreed with each other and others to pay or offer to pay voters residing in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana, for voting during the 2016 Open Primary Election and the 2016 Open General Election, contests in which Trabona and Hart were candidates.”

According to the statement, Trabona and Hart’s vote-buying operation involved finding and recruiting people to identify possible voters, transporting those voters to the polls, and paying or offering to pay the voters to cast their ballots.

Co-conspirator Sidney Smith, 69, of Amite City, paid votes in the 2016 election using funds provided by Trabona and Hart. Calvin Batiste and Louis Ruffino, two other individuals from Louisiana who already pled guilty for their participation in the vote buying operation, will receive their sentences later.

The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, Special Agent in Charge Douglas Williams of the FBI New Orleans Field Office, and Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

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