‘DWI Dude’ attorney sentenced for scamming drug traffickers

Published: May. 4, 2021 at 1:04 PM CDT
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SHERMAN, Texas (AP) - A Texas lawyer known as the “DWI Dude” has been sentenced to more than 15 years in federal prison for falsely promising Colombian drug traffickers he’d get their charges reduced in exchange for cash.

Sixty-five-year-old Jamie Balagia was sentenced Monday to 188 months in federal prison.

He was convicted in 2019 of charges including conspiracy to commit money laundering and obstruction of justice.

Prosecutors say Balagia conspired with a private investigator in Florida and an attorney in Colombia to scam drug traffickers into paying “attorney fees” to get their charges reduced or dismissed.

No government officials were involved in the scheme.

Balagia’s attorney had sought probation for his client, who has maintained his innocence.

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