Former Charlestown officer pleads guilty to federal drug, money laundering charges

Former Charlestown officer pleads guilty to federal drug, money laundering charges

Record-Journal
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PROVIDENCE — A former Charlestown police officer from Westerly pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court on Friday to charges that he trafficked in steroids and laundered the proceeds to avoid detection.

The officer, Evan Speck, 34, of Westerly, appeared before Judge William E. Smith. He entered a guilty plea to possession of steroids with the intent to distribute, distribution of a misbranded drug, and money laundering. Sentencing is set for Nov. 3.

Speck, who served 11 years on the Charlestown force, resigned from the department six days after federal agents raided his home March 20. Under an agreement reached with federal prosecutors in late July, he will also forfeit three firearms and $17,954 in cash that was seized during the raid. In addition, court records indicate that he will forfeit an additional $536,000, the total value of all his assets, officials said.

According to court documents, the search of Speck’s home produced evidence of the sale and distribution of steroids and other performance enhancing drugs between June 2015 and the day of the search. The court was told that Speck had been ordering testosterone cipionate from China and repackaging it under the name TabMan Pharmaceuticals.

Investigators also seized three firearms, false ID documents, and ledgers that showed Speck received $536,000 from sales.

Officials said Speck concealed the transactions by using remittance services, false names, and the bitcoin digital currency. “It’s always disheartening to those of us who have dedicated our lives to upholding the law when any police officer is accused of a crime and agrees to plead guilty to those crimes,” Charlestown Police Chief Jeffrey Allen said in a statement issued through Charlestown Town Administrator Mark Stankiewicz’ office on July 28, when Speck agreed to plead guilty.

“He has not received any pay from the town of Charlestown since September 2016, and he voluntarily resigned from the department in March of this year,” Allen continued. “I am committed to safeguarding the integrity of this department and will take whatever actions are necessary to ensure the public confidence in the Charlestown Police Department.”

Stankiewicz and Town Council President Virginia Lee attended the court proceeding. Stankiewicz said the town staff, if requested, would be made available to federal court officials for any pre-sentencing interviews.

The conviction does not affect the status of two civil lawsuit that Speck filed against the town last year. Town officials have said they would like to see those cases dropped as a result of the conviction.

Last September, Speck sued the town and the department in federal court, alleging that his superiors stopped his pay and health care coverage, denying him injured-on-duty status, in retaliation for exercising his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. He said he has ADHD and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Speck also complained to the state in May 2016 that he had been wrongly suspended and ordered to undergo a specific “fitness for duty evaluation” to determine whether he was still capable of working as a police officer after he was unable to review newly instituted policies issued for the department. Those policies were part of the department’s accreditation process.

On Tuesday, federal Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond approved a motion for an extension of discovery in the cases, a request previously filed by attorneys for Charlestown after learning about the federal investigation and possible plea deal. Under the new timeline for the cases approved this week, the parties will next appear before Almond on or before Oct. 29. The status of those cases will be determined then, officials said.

The North Kingstown lawyer Edward C. Roy Jr., who represents Speck, said no decisions have been made on whether his client will pursue the lawsuits. Roy could not be reached for further comment Friday.

jvallee@thewesterlysun.com


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