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VDOT Officials Plead Guilty to $10.3 Million Bribe Scheme
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VDOT Officials Plead Guilty to $10.3 Million Bribe Scheme

Two Virginia Department of Transportation officials and three private contractors have pleaded guilty to their involvement in a bribery scheme involving the awarding of over $10.3 million in snow removal contracts over the course of five years.

According to court documents, Anthony Willie and Kenneth Duane Adams were VDOT supervisors at the Burke Area Headquarters (AHQ) and secretly used their official positions to enrich themselves by soliciting and accepting cash bribes in exchange for various favorable official acts, such as awarding lucrative snow removal work to local trucking companies during winter snowstorms in the northern Virginia area.

According to court documents, Willie and Adams negotiated bribe agreements with several owners and operators of trucking and snow removal companies seeking snow removal work from the VDOT Burke AHQ, including Rolando Pineda Moran, Shaheen Sariri, and John Williamson. At their core, each agreement stated that the company owners would provide a percentage or a flat rate of their hourly contracts as bribes in the form of cash payments to Willie and Adams, in exchange for being awarded snow removal work and having Willie and Adams sign off on their VDOT invoices. Beginning in the 2012‑2013 snow season and continuing through the 2016‑2017 snow season, Willie and Adams would often meet the snow plow contractors at local restaurants, grocery stores, and parking lots in Burke and Fairfax and received approximately $440,000 in cash bribes.

According to court documents, from 2011 through 2016, Adams also conspired with Elmer Antonio Mejia by negotiating an unlawful bribery agreement whereby Mejia would sub-contract snow removal work out to Adams’ nominee-owned company, Supreme Landscaping. During this period, Mejia paid Adams approximately $160,000, frequently disguising the payments as pay for snow removal work allegedly performed by Adams’ nominee-owned company.

Additionally, Adams also pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute cocaine. According to court records, while executing a search warrant in November 2015, law enforcement recovered approximately 129 grams of cocaine and related drug paraphernalia at Adams’ residence. Adams also admitted to previously distributing cocaine to others, including several of his colleagues at VDOT, and to obtaining cocaine from a relative of one of his VDOT co-workers.

A sixth indicted defendant in this case is scheduled for trial on Jan. 29, 2018.