Co-conspirator will testify in Pomierski’s corruption trial
Sandra Emerson, Staff Writer
Created: 04/18/2011 09:04:45 PM PDT

RIVERSIDE – A co-conspirator named in the indictment of John “JP” Pomierski has agreed to testify against the former Upland mayor.

Jason Roy Crebs, 38, of Upland changed his original plea of not-guilty to guilty of bribery charges on Monday as part of a plea agreement.

Crebs pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to aiding Pomierski in demanding and accepting bribes from the owners of the former Chronic Cantina building in order to re-issue a previously revoked conditional use permit.

The Upland City Council revoked the restaurant’s conditional use permit in April 2009 because of alleged unruly behavior among patrons.

Crebs will be sentenced Oct. 17.

“It was a plea agreement that we reached and Jason will be cooperating with the prosecution in the John Pomierski criminal trial,” Crebs’ attorney James Reiss said.

Pomierski and John Hennes, a member of Upland’s Building Appeals Board, were named in an 11-count indictment March 2.

They both pleaded not-guilty March 3 in federal court in Riverside.

Pomierski is accused of conspiracy, extortion and bribery offenses in a scheme that led two business owners to pay a total of $45,000 in bribes.

Pomierski and Hennes’ pretrial conference is scheduled for Aug. 22 and their trial date has been set for Aug. 30 in federal court in Riverside.

Crebs will testify during the trial, Reiss said.

Pomierski’s defense attorney, David Wiechert, did not return calls for comment on Monday.

Hennes, owner of JH Builders in Upland, also is accused of aiding Pomierski in receiving bribes, and of lying to FBI agents.

Hennes’ attorney, Kenneth White, said he could not comment on Crebs’ plea because it is not part of Hennes’ indictment.

Crebs and co-defendant Anthony Orlando Sanchez, 35, of Rancho Cucamonga were charged on Feb. 1 with aiding “a public official” who was “an agent of Upland” in demanding and accepting bribes from “R.M.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jerry Behnke said in court on Monday that “the mayor of Upland” was the public official.

The identity of “R.M.” has not been released, but, during Monday’s proceedings, Behnke said, “R.M. and others owned and operated the Chronic Cantina.”

Robert Mills is one of the owners of the Chronic Cantina property.

A search warrant was issued March 22 for Sanchez’s arrest after he failed to appear for his arraignment for the third time.

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