Massachusetts State Police Investigating How Trooper With Criminal Past Was Hired

Massachusetts State Police Trooper Leigha A. Genduso was suspended without pay last week in the wake of an internal affairs investigation that will review, among other things, the process through which the Worcester native was hired, according to a state police spokesman.

Trooper Genduso, 36, was suspended without pay Friday after it was revealed that she participated in a large-scale marijuana business in the early 2000s run by her then live-in boyfriend. She had been placed on paid administrative leave on Monday last week.

State police spokesman David Procopio said Friday that a hearing was scheduled to determine what Trooper Genduso’s duty status would be pending completion of the internal affairs investigation.

Trooper Genduso’s criminal past was publicly available in a 2007 federal case in which she testified against her then-boyfriend, Sean P. Bucci of North Reading. That testimony enabled her to avoid prosecution for her participation in the enterprise, which she said in court documents included helping package, transport and sell marijuana, as well as launder some of the proceeds.

Mr. Procopio said state police conduct rigorous background checks on all recruit candidates, requiring a lengthy application, oral interviews, and criminal, driving and credit histories; asking questions about use of controlled substances; and conducting interviews with previous employers, acquaintances and references. If during that process the department learns of any information that disqualifies a candidate for employment, the candidate will not be hired, he said.

“A multifaceted background check was done on Trooper Genduso as on all other recruits,” Mr. Procopio said. The department had no comment on questions involving how and whether Trooper Genduso’s background escaped detection by the state police when she was hired, first as a dispatcher in 2008, and when she entered the State Police Academy in 2013.

A 1999 Shrewsbury High School graduate, Trooper Genduso graduated from the academy in 2014 and was assigned to the state police K-9 section, where she has remained.

Mr. Bucci was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute over 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, conspiracy to commit money laundering, two substantive counts of money laundering, seven substantive counts of structuring currency transactions and four counts of tax evasion.

The evidence at trial showed Mr. Bucci used drug money to buy real estate, vehicles, a boat, and for extensive travel to, and gambling in, Aruba.

In sworn testimony in 2007, Ms. Genduso said she started dating Mr. Bucci in 2000. He was a DJ at a bar in Salem and she was a cocktail waitress at the time.

She testified that three months into the relationship, Mr. Bucci told her he sold marijuana for a living. She also said she began smoking marijuana “basically every day” when she was involved with him.

In 2000 and 2001, Ms. Genduso said, she got more involved in Mr. Bucci’s marijuana business. She said she would be present for deliveries that were usually around 200 pounds of marijuana.

“A lot of times I helped him break up the bales to be able to put them into pounds,” she testified.

In addition, she said she would take money from Mr. Bucci’s customers when he wasn’t in the house or was sleeping, and in 2002 and 2003, she started delivering and selling it herself to a customer in Worcester.

“I would put it in boxes and then wrap them up as presents,” Ms. Genduso said, “because of the smell, and because it’s miles to drive with that in my car.”

Furthermore, Ms. Genduso said, she made “well over 20” deposits of usually $9,000 for Mr. Bucci.

After their guilty verdict, the jury returned a general forfeiture judgment of $2.7 million against Mr. Bucci, and judgments of forfeiture of his North Reading house, a 2002 Chevrolet Avalanche SUV, a boat and $35,000 in a bank account.

Mr. Bucci was also sentenced to 151 months in prison.

A year later, Ms. Genduso was a state police dispatcher. She was honored with a State 911 award in 2009 for keeping a 6-year-old girl calm on the phone while her mother was experiencing a medical emergency.


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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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