Former MIT Police Officer on Trial for Drug Trafficking

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.
Published: February 4, 2010

A former MIT officer, Joseph D’Amelio, who was terminated from his position after being arrested for drug trafficking in mid-March, is currently on trial for his connection in the case.

The Tech reports on the night of March 14, Massachusetts State Police had been informed by Federal Express of a package containing 340 OxyContin pills and 500 Roxicodone tablets that were to be delivered to an Advanced Automotive store in Boston. As part of a sting operation, an undercover police officer disguised himself as a FedEx employee and delivered the package to Donald Smoot.

Smoot was arrested, but said that D’Amelio was the intended recipient of the package. In cooperation with police, Smoot called D’Amelio, who was on MIT Campus Police duty, to come to the auto store and purchase the drugs. D’Amelio requested permission from the campus police department to travel off campus, saying that he wanted to bring dinner to the police station.

D’Amelio arrived to the auto shop fully dressed in his uniform and driving an MIT Police cruiser, according to the news report. After D’Amelio and Smoot went over the contents in the package, D’Amelio called his cousin Anthony Cristallo to bring $16,000 to purchase the pills. The entire exchange between D’Amelio and Smoot was overheard by the undercover police officer.

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The three men were arrested by the undercover officer before the final transaction.

D’Amelio was immediately placed on administrative leave without pay. On April 6, 2009, he was terminated from the MIT Police department.

Though both OxyContin and Roxicodone are legal with a prescription, they contain oxycodone, an addictive Schedule II drug.

Under Massachusetts sentencing guidelines, trafficking more than 100 grams of oxycodone carries a sentence of 10 to 20 years. The former MIT officer was charged with possessing more than 200 grams of oxycodone within a thousand miles of a public elementary school, which carries an additional penalty.

Initially, D’Amelio’s bail was set for $500,000; however, it was reduced to $75,000. The suspect was placed under house arrest after posting bail, but was later released from that order when he enrolled in a drug treatment program.

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