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Three on Leave As Lowell Police Launch Probe

December 8, 2018 GMT

LOWELL -- The Police Department has formed a three-member Board of Inquiry to investigate three patrolmen who have been placed on paid administrative leave for potential inconsistencies with evidence, The Sun has learned.

While the board investigates, the Lowell Police Department will not allow certain officers to testify in criminal cases.

The incident involves one of the department’s investigative units, the superintendent of police announced Friday afternoon.

The board of inquiry’s formation comes as a result of information received from the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, Superintendent Kelly Richardson said in a short statement. The case involves a fentanyl and gun arrest from March.


Paul Aaron was arraigned in Lowell District Court on March 8 on charges of trafficking in fentanyl over 10 grams, four counts of possession of a large capacity firearm/feeding device, trafficking over 200 grams of heroin, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, wearing body armor during the commission of a felony, possession of a firearm without an FID card, possession of ammunition without an FID card, and two counts of improper storage of a firearm.

The narcotics charges were subsequently presented to a federal grand jury by the United States Attorney’s Office.

While the case was pending, new information came to light regarding potential inconsistencies in the evidence. As a result, the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office decided not to prosecute “in the interest of justice,” the office said in a statement.

That information was referred to Lowell Police Department, which then formed the Board of Inquiry.

“While that review is ongoing, the Lowell Police Department has made a determination that certain officers are unavailable to testify in criminal proceedings,” the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office said in a statement. “As a result, our office has requested that those cases be continued until the review is complete.”

In some instances, the court has denied their request for a continuance and dismissed the cases involved.

A three-member Board of Inquiry is formed for very serious matters. The seldom-used board goes beyond the normal internal affairs investigation.

“By using this board we hope to expedite this review and address any identified deficiencies,” Richardson said in a statement.

When contacted for further comment, the chief declined to detail the incident or identify the investigative unit that is the focus of the probe.


Richardson said he hopes the board is finished in a couple weeks, and said the department will provide more information at that time. The findings will be provided to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office.

The board will be comprised of three captains: James Hodgson, Daniel Larocque and Mark LeBlanc.

The last time a Board of Inquiry was formed was in 2014, when it determined that former Sgt. Thomas Fleming brought an electronic device into a promotional exam and subsequently lied about having it.

In another high-profile case, a 31-year-old woman who died in police custody in 2013 led to a Board of Inquiry that found six officers and an detention-area attendant were in neglect of duty.

Alyssa Brame died in a police holding cell from alcohol poisoning. The police officers who ended up getting disciplined in the case were: Lt. Thomas Siopes, Sgt. James Fay, Lt. Michael Kilmartin, Sgt. Michael Giuffrida and Sgt. Francis Nobrega.

Follow Rick Sobey on Twitter @rsobeyLSun.