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Ex-Compton City Councilman Isaac Galvan Arrested in Bribery Scheme

September 19, 2023

In November 2020, LCCN exclusively learned and reported that former Baldwin Park Mayor Ricardo Pacheco and then-current Compton Councilman Isaac Galvan’s homes were raided by the F.B.I and both subsequently arrested.

No other major media company in Los Angeles reported the arrests.

At that time, Pacheco’s career has been marred by legal battles involving both the City Council and the Rialto-based West Valley Water District, where he was fired in November 2019, Pacheco “retired” in June of this year.

Galvan has been involved in district attorney investigations and fighting at a Contract Cities convention.

Sources told LCCN that Pacheco was involved in hiring a new police chief, Steven McClean for the city, with Pacheco secretly demanding money from McClean to ensure his hiring.

The chief went to the F.B.I, obtained money for a sting, and gave it to Pacheco; based on that, the F.B.I. obtained an arrest warrant and recently arrested Pacheco.

The F.B.I subsequently questioned Pacheco which triggered the arrest of Galvan, with sources telling LCCN that the arrest occurred two days prior and was related to cannabis in Baldwin Park and Maywood.

The F.B.I. confiscated the cell phones of Pacheco and Galvan.

An FBI spokesperson would not confirm or deny an investigation.

Now it is apparent the investigation was successful with Galvan’s arrest Monday on federal charges alleging he and a business associate paid $70,000 in bribes to “a member of the Baldwin Park City Council” in exchange for that official’s votes and support for commercial marijuana permits.

Galvan was arrested at his home on a 10-count indictment unsealed Monday, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Special agents with the FBI and IRS Criminal Investigation on Monday also arrested Yichang Bai, 50, of Arcadia, the owner and operator of W&F International Corp., a Diamond Bar-based import-export business and a consulting client of Galvan’s who allegedly helped orchestrate the scheme.

The criminal indictment charges Galvan and Bai with one count of conspiracy, one count of bribery and eight counts of honest services wire fraud. The defendants are expected to be arraigned Monday afternoon in Los Angeles federal court.

Donald Always, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, said the FBI arrested Galvan “for allegedly using his position of power to bribe an elected city official in order to enrich himself and a client.”

In June 2017, Baldwin Park began permitting the cultivation, manufacture, and distribution of marijuana within its city limits. Soon afterward, then-Baldwin Park City Councilman Ricardo Pacheco, 60, of Baldwin Park, began soliciting bribes from businesses seeking marijuana development agreements and related permits in the city, according to court documents.

In exchange for the illicit payments, Pacheco agreed to use his position in city government to assist the companies with obtaining marijuana permits, including voting in their favor, federal prosecutors said.

According to the indictment, Galvan first paid Pacheco a $10,000 bribe in August 2017 to secure Pacheco’s support for a future consulting client’s marijuana permit.

Then, after securing Bai’s company W&F as a client, Galvan facilitated $70,000 in bribes from Bai to Pacheco. Pacheco served on Baldwin Park’s city council from 1997 until his resignation in June 2020, and he was the city’s mayor pro tempore in 2018.

Galvan allegedly paid the bribes in exchange for Pacheco’s political support of and promise to deliver Baldwin Park’s approval of marijuana permits for W&F. Pacheco then delivered, voting in favor of W&F’s marijuana permit and later voting in favor of W&F’s bid to relocate its operations.