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The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts has announced that six people, including current and former Massachusetts State Police troopers, have been arrested and charged in a 74-count indictment that includes alleged bribery conspiracy.
Acting United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Joshua Levy told reporters at a press conference at the Boston Federal Courthouse on Tuesday that the indictment revealed that four state troopers and two civilians are alleged to have falsified documents to give guaranteed passing scores for commercial driver’s license (CDL) applicants.
Levy said four of the defendants were arrested Tuesday morning, including two state troopers, Sgt. Gary Cederquist and Joel Rogers. The two civilians who were also arrested were Scott Camara and Eric Mathison.
Two retired state troopers were arrested in Florida on Monday, Levy said, identifying them as Calvin Butner and Perry Mendes.
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Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy announced the 74-count indictment on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2024. (Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
“The indictment alleged these defendants gave passing scores to people who did not pass the test to obtain a CDL,” Levy said. “In return for passing unqualified applicants, one of the defendants is alleged to have received personal benefits of a variety in nature. These included items that were several thousands of dollars in value, like a new $10,000 driveway, a $2,000 snowblower and ‘other such items.’”
He added, “The grand jury indictment against these six men includes extortion, honest services mail fraud, conspiracy, false statements and falsification of records.”
“The civilians who were charged either provided free goods or conspired with the troopers to pass applicants who did not actually pass the test,” Levy said. “These defendants all conspired to pass applicants who either failed the test, did not take the test, or took an abbreviated test.”
Acting United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Joshua Levy said the alleged actions of the defendants showed the “CDLs were for sale” and skirted federal regulations that are in place to help safeguard residents on the roadways. (Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Levy said the alleged actions of the defendants showed the “CDLs were for sale” and that they were bribed to pass applicants “no matter how they performed on the tests.”
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He noted that three of the officers allegedly began falsifying documents in August 2018 for “certain CDL applicants.” A fourth state trooper joined in the alleged criminal conspiracy in 2022.
Levy specified the licenses are federal requirements to ensure drivers on the road operating large vehicles are doing so safely. These tests and licenses help keep the driver of the vehicle safe as well as all those on the roads with them.
Levy added the alleged actions of these defendants skirt the federal requirements and put the drivers who received the CDLs without passing the test in danger, as well as anyone else on the roads with them.
Acting United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Joshua Levy said the alleged actions of these defendants skirt the federal requirements and put the drivers on the road at unnecessary risk. (LAUREN OWENS LAMBERT/AFP via Getty Images)
“These standards and regulations exist for one very simple reason: to protect and prevent death and injuries from the operations of commercial vehicles,” he continued.
Levy said the defendants “allegedly displayed no regard for the public safety consequences by allowing people who didn’t pass the test to have a CDL and operate commercial trucks.”
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The acting attorney said the indictment includes text messages between the officers joking about the conduct and the extra privileges.
His office is working with the Massachusetts Department of Motor Vehicles to track down those individuals who are known to have obtained a CDL improperly.