Driver’s licenses ‘were for sale,’ Mass. troopers were ‘bribed’ with items including new driveway, snow blower
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Driver’s licenses ‘were for sale,’ Mass. troopers were ‘bribed’ with items including new driveway, snow blower

Four current and former Massachusetts State Police troopers and two civilians are facing federal charges in connection with a bribery conspiracy that gave guaranteed passing scores on commercial driver’s licenses to applicants.Acting U.S. Attorney Joshua Levy said Tuesday that Sgt. Gary Cederquist, 58, of Stoughton, Trooper Joel Rogers, 54, of Bridgewater, and civilians Scott Camara, 42, of Rehoboth, and Eric Mathison, 47, of Boston, were arrested Tuesday. Retired State Troopers Calvin Butner, 63, of Halifax and Perry Mendes, 63, of Wareham were arrested Monday in Florida. “The grand jury indictment against these six men includes charges of extortion, honest services mail fraud, conspiracy, false statements and falsification of records. In short, as alleged in this indictment, the CDLs were for sale and troopers were bribed with free goods to pass applicants no matter how they performed on the tests,” Levy said.Cederquist allegedly received personal benefits for passing unqualified applicants, including a new driveway valued at over $10,000 and a $2,000 snow blower.In order to secure a CDL, an operator must pass three tests – a vehicle inspection, a basic skills test and a road test to operate large vehicles such as oil tankers and school buses.“Under federal law, these CDL tests are administered at the state level, and here in Massachusetts, that responsibility is vested with the state police in a particular unit known as the Commercial Drivers Licensing Unit,” Levy said.The 74-count indictment alleges that starting in August 2018, Cederquist, Butner and Mendes, who were part of the unit, used their positions to falsify results on the basic skills test for certain applicants, Levy said. Rogers allegedly joined the conspiracy in 2022.The civilians, Camera and Mathison, either provided free goods or conspired with the troopers to pass applicants who did not actually pass the test.Several text messages between the defendants are highlighted in the indictment.“They jokingly talked about golden treatments and golden handshakes, referring to giving guaranteed passes to certain CDL applicants regardless of how they did on the tests,” Levy said.In one text message, Butner talks about an applicant who is performing required maneuvers and he described him as “a mess” and said the applicant owes Cederquist “prime rib” for passing the test.In another message, Cederquist allegedly texted Mathison, “This kid is an idiot” and “No idea what he is doing.” Video Below: CDL applicant ‘a mess’ had ‘no idea what he was doing’Levy said all CDL recipients identified as not qualified in the course of the investigation have been reported to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. “The Massachusetts State Police demand and expect all members to conduct themselves with integrity, honesty and in accordance with all federal and state laws and Department policies, rules and regulations. The Department condemns the actions of the four current and former CDL Unit members as alleged in the federal indictment and our internal affairs investigation. The alleged misconduct of those defendants is the antithesis of and in stark contrast to the values, character, and integrity exhibited by the overwhelming majority of our Troopers every day in service to the public,” said Massachusetts State Police Department Interim Superintendent Colonel John Mawn Jr.”I appreciate the investigation by the Attorney General’s Office and the work of the Mass State Police getting to the bottom of this. It’s a matter that was investigated initially during my time as the AG, so I’m familiar with this investigation and I’m pleased to see the indictments today,” said Gov. Maura Healey. “There needs to be accountability and transparency in everything that’s done and that’s an important indictment.”Applicants in Massachusetts may apply for a CDL beginning at age 18. However, Federal Regulations state that a license holder, including CDL holders, must be 21 years of age to drive a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce.Commercial vehicles are divided into three classes based on size, weight and functionality, and each class requires a different CDL.

Four current and former Massachusetts State Police troopers and two civilians are facing federal charges in connection with a bribery conspiracy that gave guaranteed passing scores on commercial driver’s licenses to applicants.

Acting U.S. Attorney Joshua Levy said Tuesday that Sgt. Gary Cederquist, 58, of Stoughton, Trooper Joel Rogers, 54, of Bridgewater, and civilians Scott Camara, 42, of Rehoboth, and Eric Mathison, 47, of Boston, were arrested Tuesday. Retired State Troopers Calvin Butner, 63, of Halifax and Perry Mendes, 63, of Wareham were arrested Monday in Florida.

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“The grand jury indictment against these six men includes charges of extortion, honest services mail fraud, conspiracy, false statements and falsification of records. In short, as alleged in this indictment, the CDLs were for sale and troopers were bribed with free goods to pass applicants no matter how they performed on the tests,” Levy said.

Cederquist allegedly received personal benefits for passing unqualified applicants, including a new driveway valued at over $10,000 and a $2,000 snow blower.

In order to secure a CDL, an operator must pass three tests – a vehicle inspection, a basic skills test and a road test to operate large vehicles such as oil tankers and school buses.

“Under federal law, these CDL tests are administered at the state level, and here in Massachusetts, that responsibility is vested with the state police in a particular unit known as the Commercial Drivers Licensing Unit,” Levy said.

The 74-count indictment alleges that starting in August 2018, Cederquist, Butner and Mendes, who were part of the unit, used their positions to falsify results on the basic skills test for certain applicants, Levy said. Rogers allegedly joined the conspiracy in 2022.

The civilians, Camera and Mathison, either provided free goods or conspired with the troopers to pass applicants who did not actually pass the test.

Several text messages between the defendants are highlighted in the indictment.

“They jokingly talked about golden treatments and golden handshakes, referring to giving guaranteed passes to certain CDL applicants regardless of how they did on the tests,” Levy said.

In one text message, Butner talks about an applicant who is performing required maneuvers and he described him as “a mess” and said the applicant owes Cederquist “prime rib” for passing the test.

In another message, Cederquist allegedly texted Mathison, “This kid is an idiot” and “No idea what he is doing.”

Video Below: CDL applicant ‘a mess’ had ‘no idea what he was doing’

Levy said all CDL recipients identified as not qualified in the course of the investigation have been reported to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles.

“The Massachusetts State Police demand and expect all members to conduct themselves with integrity, honesty and in accordance with all federal and state laws and Department policies, rules and regulations. The Department condemns the actions of the four current and former CDL Unit members as alleged in the federal indictment and our internal affairs investigation. The alleged misconduct of those defendants is the antithesis of and in stark contrast to the values, character, and integrity exhibited by the overwhelming majority of our Troopers every day in service to the public,” said Massachusetts State Police Department Interim Superintendent Colonel John Mawn Jr.

“I appreciate the investigation by the Attorney General’s Office and the work of the Mass State Police getting to the bottom of this. It’s a matter that was investigated initially during my time as the AG, so I’m familiar with this investigation and I’m pleased to see the indictments today,” said Gov. Maura Healey. “There needs to be accountability and transparency in everything that’s done and that’s an important indictment.”

Applicants in Massachusetts may apply for a CDL beginning at age 18. However, Federal Regulations state that a license holder, including CDL holders, must be 21 years of age to drive a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce.

Commercial vehicles are divided into three classes based on size, weight and functionality, and each class requires a different CDL.

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