Former Boston Police Officer Charged With Making False Statements
BOSTON – A former Boston Police Officer was charged today in U.S. District Court in Boston with making false statements to the FBI relating to an investigation of the Academy Homes Street Gang (AHSG), a violent narcotics-trafficking gang that operated out of the Academy Homes housing development in Roxbury.
Mel Steele, 36, of Boston, was charged in an Information with one count of making false statements to the FBI during the course of a federal investigation. At the time, Steele was an officer with the Boston Police Department. Steele recently resigned from his position.
It is alleged that Steele, who was assigned to the Boston Police Department’s (BPD) Youth Violence Task Force (YVTF), was a long-time friend of an associate of the AHSG. During the course of joint FBI-BPD investigation of the AHSG from 2009 to 2011, Steele provided assistance to the AHSG associate. On one occasion, Steele allegedly used his BPD computer to run a license plate check on a vehicle which was later determined to be an unmarked BPD vehicle operated by a detective who was conducting surveillance on the AHSG. On another occasion Steele contacted a Massachusetts State Trooper to glean information about a gang member’s pending charges on another criminal case. In May 2011, Steele allegedly made false statements about these matters when confronted by FBI agents.
The charging statutes provide a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Ortiz, Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, and Boston Police Commissioner William Evans, made the announcement today. The investigation was conducted jointly by the FBI Public Corruption Unit and the Boston Police Department Anti-Corruption Division. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dustin Chao of Ortiz’s Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit.