U.S. News

Ex-DEA agent spared prison over concealed strip club ties

(This story corrects Feb. 8 story to show defense lawyer said individual’s conduct was not malevolent in 10th paragraph.)

David Polos (L), a former assistant special agent-in-charge at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, exits the federal court with his lawyer, Marc Mukasey (R), in Manhattan, New York, U.S., February 8, 2017. REUTERS/Nate Raymond

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent avoided prison on Wednesday after being convicted last year of lying during a national security background check about operating a New Jersey strip club with another agency employee.

David Polos, an ex-assistant special agent-in-charge with the DEA, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe in Manhattan to one year of probation and ordered to undertake 250 hours of community service and pay a $5,000 fine.

Prosecutors had in court papers sought a sentence that “reflects the seriousness of the offenses” he committed, after a jury in June found Polos guilty for concealing his ties to the Twins Plus Go-Go Lounge strip club in South Hackensack, New Jersey.

But under federal sentencing guidelines, Polos, 52, faced up to only six months in prison. His lawyer, Marc Mukasey, argued the loss of his job and widespread media coverage were punishment enough.

“I stand before you today as a disgraced husband, an outcast in my own profession, and ashamed to be in my own skin,” Polos told Gardephe in court.

Polos, of West Nyack, New York, was found guilty in June along with Glen Glover, a former DEA telecommunications specialist, on conspiracy and false statement charges in connection with the club, where prosecutors said they were part-owners and worked.

Jurors also convicted Polos for lying about having a relationship with any foreign nationals for not disclosing he was having an extramarital affair with a Brazilian dancer who prosecutors said entered the United States illegally.

Prosecutors said that during background checks in 2011 used to spot any outside employment that could put them near criminal activity or create risks of being blackmailed, Polos and Glover failed to disclose that they were running the club.

The club featured scantily clad and sometimes topless female dancers, including some who engaged in sexual acts with patrons and staff, and many who are illegal, undocumented immigrants, prosecutors have said.

Mukasey said in court that Polos’ conduct was reckless but not malevolent. He told reporters that he would consider whether to appeal the conviction.

Glover is scheduled for sentencing on Friday.

Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Dan Grebler