Fmr. Congressional Candidate Sternad To Change Plea

MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – The man who challenged Joe Garcia in last year’s Democratic primary, and who later was the subject of an FBI investigation after he was linked to former U.S. Rep. David Rivera, plans to enter a change of plea next week.

Justin Lamar Sternad, 35, initially pleaded not guilty to three charges, but prosecutors have indicated he was cooperating with investigators. Next Wednesday he’s reportedly planning to ener a guilty plea to federal campaign finance violations.

The case centers on whether Sternad, an unknown Democrat, received thousands of dollars from the campaign of Rivera, a Republican. Sternad was running in the Democratic primary last year against Joe Garcia, who eventually defeated Rivera for the 26th congressional district that runs from the Miami suburbs to Key West.

Rivera has repeatedly denied any connection but has also been the subject of a federal tax investigation.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The News Service of Florida and the Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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