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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

News: Ryan Gomes Paid Off the Law?

Federal agents have interviewed NBA player and Waterbury native Ryan Gomes about whether he contacted State’s Attorney John Connelly about his cousin’s prison sentence, which was later reduced.

Ryan Gomes, L.A. Clippers and former T-Wolves player

Keith Gomes agreed to a plea deal to serve three years in prison for first-degree assault in 2007 and then was given a rare sentence modification, approved by Connelly, that shaved six months shaved off that sentence. Keith Gomes is scheduled to appear today before a federal grand jury in New Haven investigating the relationship between Connelly and Waterbury attorney Martin Minnella, who represented Keith Gomes after his arrest.

Sources said that agents have interviewed Ryan Gomes in the past month. Sources familiar with the investigation said that federal agents are trying to determine if Ryan Gomes, a widely known figure in his hometown, contacted Connelly in an effort to get his cousin a lesser prison sentence. Ryan Gomes plays with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Sources said that a federal grand jury is scrutinizing the relationship between Minnella and Connelly after federal authorities learned that the two men had taken multiple trips to Las Vegas together in the past five years.

Federal authorities are trying to build an extortion and corruption case under the Hobbs Act. The theory, said sources familiar with the investigation and potential witnesses who have been interviewed, is that Minnella has been bragging to potential clients for years that he has an “in” with Connelly and can get them better deals if they pay him more legal fees.