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Prosecutors Want To Retry Azano On Gun Count

Mexican businessman José Susumo Azano Matsura, right, walks into the federal courthouse in downtown San Diego with his former attorney, Michael Wynne, July 27, 2016.
Nicholas McVicker
Mexican businessman José Susumo Azano Matsura, right, walks into the federal courthouse in downtown San Diego with his former attorney, Michael Wynne, July 27, 2016.

Prosecutors Want To Retry Azano On Gun Count
The jury deadlocked in September on whether Jose Susumo Azano Matsura illegally possessed a gun, and the judge declared a mistrial.

Even though the jury convicted a Mexican tycoon in September of 36 counts, including illegally infusing almost $600,000 into San Diego political campaigns, he may yet face another trial.

The government plans to pursue the one remaining count that eluded jury resolution.

Jurors deadlocked on whether Jose Susumo Azano Matsura illegally possessed a gun. U.S. District Judge Michael Anello declared a mistrial on that count. On Thursday, federal prosecutors said they plan to retry Azano on the lone count. Azano said he’s surprised by the decision. His lawyer Knut Johnson said he’s befuddled. But Prosecutor Phil Halpern said the charge is significant enough to warrant a second trial.

Halpern said conviction on that count could impact whether Azano is deported after serving prison time. Sentencing on the case was pushed off to next spring. Azano, who doesn’t have a green card, was found guilty of funneling money into the mayoral campaigns of District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and Bob Filner in 2012.

Prosecutors say they do not plan to retry Azano’s son Edward Azano Hester. The jury deadlocked in his case on six counts. He was acquitted on several others.

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