Former state trooper from Wareham among six arrested for alleged CDL bribery conspiracy
Four Massachusetts state troopers, two current and two former, including one from Wareham, and two private individuals have been arrested and charged in connection with an alleged conspiracy, announced acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Joshua Levy.
The alleged conspiracy involved troopers agreeing to give preferential treatment to Commercial Driver's License applicants, including giving applicants passing scores whether or not they passed or even took the required tests, in exchange for bribes, Levy said.
Charged in the conspiracy were Perry Mendes, 63, of Wareham; Gary Cederquist, 58, of Stoughton; Calbin Butner, 63, of Halifax; Joel Rogers, 54, of Bridgewater; Scott Camara, 42, of Rehoboth and Eric Mathison, 47, of Boston.
Cederquist served as the sergeant in charge of the Massachusetts State Police Commercial Driver's License Unit, with Mendes, Butner and Rogers as troopers working under him, according to Levy.
The indictment alleges that Cederquist conspired with Mathison, his friend who worked for a spring water company, so that Cederquist gave passing scores to Commercial Drivers License applicants from the company in exchange for free deliveries of bottled Fiji water, Arizona Iced Tea, coffee and tea supplies and other goods from Mathison.
In addition to the free inventory from Mathison, which all involved troopers benefited from, Cederquist allegedly accepted additional bribes in exchange for using his position as the sergeant in charge of the Massachusetts State Police Commercial Drivers License unit, said Levy. These included a new driveway, valued at over $10,000, a $750 granite post and mailbox and a snow blower worth nearly $2,000.
Additionally, "According to the charging document, between … about May 2019 and January 2023, Cederquist, Butner, Mendes, Rogers and others conspired to give preferential treatment to at least 17 Commercial Drivers License applicants by agreeing to give passing scores on their skills tests whether or not they actually passed, using the code word "golden" to identify these applicants who received special treatment," said Levy.
Texts between the conspirators, included in the indictment, highlight how unqualified some of the applicants were, including, "Your buddy passed yesterday he owes you that's an automatic Fail leaving the door open!!!,” "This guys a mess,” and "Your buddy is a mess. He owes you big time."
Applicants who received this special treatment include friends, acquaintances and other first responders, according to the indictment.
Cederquist retired on Thursday, Feb. 1 and was given a dishonorable discharge, the Massachusetts State Police announced. The Department said its internal investigation continues.
Cederquist, Rogers, Camara and Mathison appeared in federal court in Boston on Tuesday, Jan. 30. Mendes and Butner will appear at a later date.