Former Boston Police Officer Sentenced for Making False Statements
BOSTON – A former Boston Police Officer was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Boston for 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 sentenced to one year of probation and a fine of $2,000. In December 2014, Steele pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements to the FBI during the course of a federal investigation.
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 made false statements about these matters when confronted by FBI agents.
United States Attorney Carmen M. 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 was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dustin Chao of Ortiz’s Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit.