Former Drug Dealer Who Somehow Became A Massachusetts State Trooper Breaks Her Silence

Printed from: http://newbostonpost.com/2018/04/03/former-drug-dealer-who-somehow-became-a-massachusetts-state-trooper-breaks-her-silence/

 

The Massachusetts state trooper whose court-documented history of drug dealing and money laundering somehow eluded the Massachusetts State Police’s own background checks has broken her silence.

Leigha Genduso, the 36-year-old K-9 state trooper who has been on leave ever since the Worcester-based blog Turtleboy Sports published leaked copies of her damning 2007 marijuana-trafficking testimony that ultimately sent an ex-boyfriend to jail, recently spoke to the Boston Globe, and according to the newspaper, claimed in her 2012 police academy application that she that she only “briefly” experimented with marijuana.

(Testimony of Leigha Genduso)

 

Moreover, Genduso in her application listed 23 Marshall Street in North Reading as a home address — the house had been bought by her ex-boyfriend, Sean Bucci, and was forfeited to the government following his conviction.

Federal prosecutors had granted Genduso immunity in exchange for testifying against Bucci, but despite the address listing on her application matching that of a convicted drug dealer and the fact that federal drug investigators worked with the State Police during the Bucci case, she was able to get a job as a state police dispatcher roughly a year later. She was later admitted to the academy, about a year after she started dating a high-ranking officer, Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Risteen.

Genduso, who in her sworn testimony admitted to packing bales of marijuana in gift-wrapping paper as a way of tricking police during delivery runs she made on behalf of Bucci, told the Globe that no one asked about her criminal past when she applied to work for the State Police.

(Testimony of Leigha Genduso)

Likewise, no one with the State Police ever asked Genduso about the fact she admitted in her testimony that she not only lied initially to prosecutors, but also to the grand jury involved in the Bucci case regarding the whereabouts of a box stuffed with more than $200,000 in drug money — $50,000 of which Genduso used to retain an attorney.

(Testimony of Leigha Genduso)

“I had a background investigation like everybody else did,” Genduso told the newspaper. “I answered the questions.”

One of the questions on her application asked if she had ever used or sold drugs. Genduso, according to the Globe, answered that she “experimented” with it in 1999. In her testimony, however, Genduso told prosecutors she used prescription opioids, in addition to marijuana, on a daily basis, which she said were supplied by Bucci.

(Testimony of Leigha Genduso)

The leader of the State Police at the time of Genduso’s hiring as a trooper, Colonel Timothy Alben, told the newspaper that there’s “no way” he would have “ever allowed somebody to be hired with that type of background” had he known about it.

Still, Genduso’s attorney, Vikhas Dhar, claimed the answers his client provided on her academy application “should have” triggered more follow-up vetting. Dhar did add, however, that he expects Genduso to be reinstated as a K-9 officer.

“I feel like I’m being hung out to dry because of mistakes in my past,” Genduso said during her Globe interview. “Nobody’s perfect, and basically everyone messes up.”

Risteen, who was coincidentally suspended on the same day in late February as Genduso following the publishing of the Turtleboy Sports report, later filed for retirement. He filed his retirement papers on the same day that State Police Major Susan Anderson, who in November was named in a trooper’s federal lawsuit over an alleged political conspiracy involving orders to scrub embarrassing and incriminating details from a judge’s daughter’s arrest report, filed hers.

Risteen and Genduso apparently split up in October.

The Globe report regarding Genduso was published a day after Governor Charlie Baker and State Police Superintendent Colonel Kerry Gilpin held a press conference to announce a series of sweeping changes aimed at cleaning up the embattled agency.

One of those new policies apparently includes an overhaul of the State Police hiring process.

Gilpin, without ever mentioning Genduso, told reporters that new recruits will be required to answer on their applications whether they have ever been connected to a criminal investigation, “even if they did not end up being charged.”

Gilpin said the agency is also “expanding research measures for background investigators to significantly increase the chance that any red flags discovered regarding recruit candidates are seen and thorough investigated.”

Genduso’s internal affairs investigation is still ongoing.

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