Massachusetts State Troopers Arrested in CDL Bribery Scheme”
In a shocking revelation, two current and two former Massachusetts State Police troopers, along with two other individuals, were charged on Tuesday for their alleged involvement in a bribery scheme related to commercial driving tests. The U.S. attorney’s office disclosed that the accused individuals accepted bribes, including items like a new snowblower and driveway, in exchange for ensuring passing scores on CDL tests.
The six suspects are accused of manipulating records and providing preferential treatment to at least 17 drivers attempting their commercial driver’s license (CDL) test between May 2019 and January 2023. Even in cases where drivers failed the skills test, the troopers allegedly passed them and confirmed their actions with a text containing the code word “golden.” The indictment further reveals instances where troopers exchanged text messages, joking about a driver’s poor performance during the test.
Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy emphasized, “CDLs were for sale,” asserting that troopers were bribed with various goods to pass applicants regardless of their actual performance on the tests.
The arrested individuals include Sgt. Gary Cederquist and Trooper Joel Rogers, both currently serving, and retired troopers Calvin Butner and Perry Mendes, who were apprehended in Florida. The charges they face exceed 70 counts and range from conspiracy to falsify records to extortion and making false statements. Two additional individuals, Eric Mathison and Scott Camara, were also implicated in the scheme.
The accused are set to make their initial court appearance on Tuesday afternoon. Attempts to contact them were unsuccessful, and their lawyers have not responded to requests for comment.
Sgt. Cederquist faces additional allegations of assisting four state troopers in obtaining commercial driver’s licenses. As part of the bribery scheme, he is accused of accepting a new driveway valued at $10,000, a $2,000 snowblower, and a $750 granite mailbox.
Michael Krol, the special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations New England, stated, “Let me be clear. Those named in this indictment that have lost their moral compass will be held accountable.”
These allegations add to a series of scandals affecting the Massachusetts State Police. Previously, 46 current and retired troopers from the disbanded Troop E were implicated in an overtime pay scheme.
The latest charges also raise concerns about the integrity of the licensing system for commercial drivers, as a significant number of test-takers in Massachusetts reportedly fail. The 2022 data indicated a pass rate of 41%. The case highlights the potential impact on road safety and underscores the need for reforms in the wake of previous incidents, such as the tragic crash in 2019 involving a commercial truck driver with a questionable driving record.
Acting U.S. Attorney Levy expressed his concerns, stating, “There are a lot of problems on the roads these days… Unfortunately, this will add to people’s level of concern.” He hopes that addressing such misconduct will contribute to cleaning up a system marred by serious allegations.
Four Massachusetts troopers arrested by feds in ‘CDLs for sale’ scheme
Six people, including four current and former Massachusetts state troopers, and have been arrested by federal authorities in connection with a Commercial Drivers Licenses (CDL) bribery scheme. The post Four pic.twitter.com/ie5mU3Dt0K
— Neville Hall (@truckersnapnews) January 30, 2024