Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Slow Saturday Special: Lopez of Lawrence Lied to FBI

"Prosecutors want 27-month sentence for ex-Lawrence officer" by Milton J. Valencia |  Globe Staff, December 28, 2013

Federal prosecutors have called for a former Lawrence police officer to be sentenced to more than two years in prison after he was convicted on charges related to soliciting gifts from a towing company in exchange for sending it business.

The former officer, Pedro Jose Lopez, 47, lied to the FBI when he was accused of the scheme and asked others to do the same.

“Pedro Jose Lopez exploited his position of public trust as a police officer with the Lawrence Police Department, by engaging in a ticketing-and-towing scheme for his personal benefit,” prosecutors said in a court filing Friday.

Lopez, a 15-year veteran, was found guilty by a jury after his trial in October on charges of bribery and obstruction of justice. He is slated to be sentenced Jan. 14, and prosecutors asked that he serve 27 months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release, and that he pay a $10,000 fine.

His lawyer, Alexander R. Cain, has not yet submitted a recommendation to the court.

“[Lawrence police] officers have a difficult, often dangerous, job in a tough city,” the prosecutors said in a court filing. “By abusing the powers entrusted to him as an officer and by obstructing federal authorities, Lopez damaged both the reputation of the LPD and the trust Lawrence residents place in it.”