Ex-Manchester police officer pleads guilty to felonies related to helping drug dealer
Cespedes, 37, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court to a charge of misprision of a felony, which U.S. Attorney John P. Kacavas said means he knew about a federal felony crime being committed and concealed it from federal authorities.
Mara said there was no way to predict that Cespedes would become a “dirty cop.” He had undergone the intensive screening all prospective officers do, including a polygraph examination, and his background as a New York City police officer had been examined, Mara said.
Kacavas said the Department of Homeland Security was investigating a drug dealer, an illegal alien, when it learned about Cespedes’ association with “El Fuerte” in 2011.
Cespedes looked to see if there were any outstanding warrants for two names the dealer was using as false identities. Cespedes used his personal cellphone for a check on Abraham Machado Lopez, telling police he was thinking of purchasing a car from the man.
The department was unaware that Cespedes was living in Lawrence, which violated departmental rules requiring officers to live within 20 miles of Manchester.
Cespedes resigned in January 2012. The following month, “El Fuerte” was arrested in a raid in which 28 grams of heroin, cocaine and cash were recovered.
Cespedes is to be sentenced Nov. 4. He faces a maximum of three years in prison, one year of supervised release and a fine up to $250,000.
He was ordered to surrender his passport, but will be able to get permission from the court for specific trips to the Dominican Republic.