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August 19, 2006 By Shelley Murphy The Boston Globe
As he huddled in an Atlantic City hotel room last May with a handful of reputed drug dealers, Boston police Officer Roberto Pulido boasted that he knew how to test the loyalty of officers he was recruiting to help protect cocaine shipments being trucked through Boston: threaten their children.
In a conversation secretly recorded by the FBI on May 24 and played by prosecutors during a bail hearing yesterday in federal court, Pulido said he approached three officers about helping him guard drug shipments and told them, ``You're my family, but as family does, family sticks to their own."
He said he warned them, ``If something goes bad and they're at fault, somebody is going to pay, either with their life or their children's lives, and as soon as they hear that, they're like, OK -- they back off. The only ones that step forward are the ones that I trust."
When one officer hesitated, he was left out, Pulido said, because ``that was all I needed to hear." But the two other officers ``stepped forward," he said.
Pulido, 41, of Hyde Park, and two other officers, Carlos Pizarro, 36, and Nelson Carrasquillo, 35, both of Dorchester, were arrested July 20 in Miami on a charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 100 kilograms of cocaine. The three are accused of guarding a truckload of cocaine in June for undercover FBI agents posing as drug dealers, who paid them $50,000. All three remain jailed without bail.
An FBI affidavit also alleges that Pulido was involved in other crimes, including identity theft, steroid trafficking, immigrant smuggling, and hosting illegal afterhours parties in which prostitutes and drug dealers mingled with uniformed officers.
FBI special agent Michael Kreizenbeck testified yesterday that after his arrest Pulido said that he was investigating the purported drug dealers and that his ``long range plan was to get to the kingpin and turn him in."
However, the agent said Pulido hadn't filed any reports with the Boston Police Department about his alleged investigation. Pulido also kept $20,000 that he and Carrasquillo were allegedly paid for protecting an earlier shipment of 40 kilograms of cocaine in April, according to the government.
A prosecutor argued yesterday that Pulido and Pizarro should remain jailed until the case is resolved because they are dangerous men who led double lives, deceiving both the Police Department and their families by working as officers while leading a criminal life.
``If these men would mortgage their children to commit this crime, then what wouldn't they do to avoid prosecution in this case?" said Assistant US Attorney John McNeil, arguing that the officers might retaliate against a cooperating witness and his family if released.
McNeil also argued that Pulido could flee to the Dominican Republic, the native country of the woman he had been having an affair with for 11 years, or to Greece, where his alleged steroid supplier now lives after fleeing Boston to avoid a drug indictment.
Defense lawyers, backed by a courtroom filled with supportive relatives and friends of the officers, argued that Pulido and Pizarro were decorated officers and longtime Boston residents who deserve to be free while defending themselves against bogus charges.
Pulido's lawyer, Rudy Miller, said Pulido had told other officers about his undercover investigation of the purported drug dealers and was ``waiting his time to effect an arrest."
Pulido's boasts about killing children and committing other crimes were ``puffery" and part of Pulido's effort to infiltrate the drug ring, Miller said.
Calling allegations in the affidavit about afterhours parties, identity theft, and other crimes ``absolutely ficticious, fabricated, made-up stories," Miller accused the government of sucking Pulido into the drug conspiracy and relying on a cooperating witness who is a three-time convicted felon.
Pizarro's lawyer, Jeffrey Denner, said Pizarro is charged with being involved in one drug shipment and was unaware of Pulido's boasts about violence against children or other crimes.
``If he made a mistake, it was an isolated mistake that has to be looked at in the context of a very good life," Denner said.
US Magistrate Judge Joyce London Alexander took under advisement the bail requests from Pulido and Pizarro, and a similar request made by Carrasquillo during a hearing earlier this month.
April 2008 By Michelle McPhee, Boston Magazine
A string of scandals has the Boston Police Department reeling, and the worst may be yet to come. An exclusive look inside the BPD’s secretive anti-corruption unit and Commissioner Ed Davis’s fight to clean up the force—whose problems run much deeper than a few bad cops.
The case of Michael LoPriore illustrates a further layer of protection for cops, no matter how badly they perform. In 2004, LoPriore was investigated for allegedly forging signatures on detail slips, defrauding taxpayers of more than $1,100. And that was two years after he got caught using a police cruiser to pick up a drunken woman outside a bar and deposit her in Charlestown without radioing in that he was transporting a civilian. Yet neither of those offenses was enough to get him fired, not after the Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association got involved on his behalf. It wasn’t until LoPriore forced a 19-year-old Chinatown prostitute to have sex with him in his car (with his child’s car seat strapped in the back), that serious action was taken. During the encounter, the hooker snatched LoPriore’s badge while his pants were around his knees. She went to the FBI, who bugged her phone in the hopes that he’d call to get his badge back—which he did. This time the union stayed out of it, and LoPriore was forced to resign. But for the department, it was too late: It had already suffered another major embarrassment.
Should We Trust Police Officers?
Are police officers allowed to lie to you? Yes the Supreme Court has ruled that police officers can lie to the American people. Police officers are trained at lying, twisting words and being manipulative. Police officers and other law enforcement agents are very skilled at getting information from people. So don’t try to “out smart” a police officer and don’t try being a “smooth talker” because you will lose! If you can keep your mouth shut, you just might come out ahead more than you expected. Related article: 46,000+ American citizens are currently serving time for crimes that they did not commit