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Massachusetts State Troopers Arrested For Taking Bribes For Commercial Drivers Licenses

Two current and two former Massachusetts State Police troopers were among six people charged Tuesday in a scheme to allegedly take bribes including a new snowblower and driveway in exchange for giving passing scores on commercial driving tests, the U.S. attorney’s office said, ABC News reports. The troopers are accused of falsifying records and giving preferential treatment to at least 17 drivers from May 2019 to January 2023, who were taking their commercial drivers license or CDL test. Even when the drivers failed a skills test, the troopers passed them and communicated they had done so with a text and the code word golden. Some troopers even joked in the text messages how badly a driver had performed on the test, according to the indictment. “In short, as is alleged in this indictment, CDLs were for sale,” Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy told reporters. “Troopers were bribed with free goods to pass applicants no matter how they performed on the test.”

Sgt. Gary Cederquist, 58, of Stoughton, and Trooper Joel Rogers, 54, of Bridgewater, were arrested Tuesday. Calvin Butner, 63, of Halifax, and Perry Mendes, 63, of Wareham, both retired state troopers, were arrested in Florida Monday. All four face more than 70 counts on a range of charges including conspiracy to falsify records, extortion and making false statements. Two others, Eric Mathison, 47, of Boston and Scott Camara, 42, of Rehoboth, were also implicated in the scheme. Cederquist, Rogers, Mathison and Camera made their initial appearance Tuesday afternoon and pleaded not guilty to the charges. Butner and Mendes were expected to make appearances at a later date. Cederquist, who also is accused of helping four state troopers get commercial drivers licenses, is accused of accepting a new driveway worth $10,000 and a snowblower valued at $2,000 and a $750 granite mailbox. Cederquist also asked for a shed and a plunge pool in exchange for passing drivers. “Let me be clear. Those named in this indictment that have lost their moral compass and they will be held accountable,” Michael Krol, special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations New England, said. “Their actions, however, should not tarnish the reputation of an entire institution especially for the overwhelming majority of public servants in the Massachusetts State Police and fire service who serve the citizens of our commonwealth day in and day out with pride, honor and integrity.”


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