BOSTON - A Lawrence police officer was sentenced today for engaging in a bribery scheme with a local towing company, lying about the scheme to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and trying to obstruct the FBI’s investigation.
Pedro Jose Lopez, 47, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Sr. Mark L. Wolf to 18 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.
In October 2013, Lopez was convicted by a jury of federal program bribery, making false statements to a federal agent, and obstruction of justice. These charges stemmed from an arrangement he had with a Lawrence tow company, under which Lopez would call in numerous unjustified tows to the company, in exchange for which the company gave him discounts on abandoned vehicles and paid for a snow plow to be installed on his truck. Once the FBI began investigating the scheme, Lopez lied to agents about whether he’d reimbursed the owner of the towing company for the snow plow. Lopez also obstructed the FBI investigation by giving the FBI a copy of a bogus receipt showing that he’d paid $4,000 to the owner of the tow company for the plow.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, and James X. Fitzpatrick, Interim Chief of the Lawrence Police Department, made the announcement today. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys William F. Bloomer and Andrew E. Lelling.