Boston Police Department’s (BPD) District E-13 detective supervisor Bruce Smith has been charged in a federal court with repeatedly making false statements to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Department of Homeland Security, according to a press release.
He was released on conditions and unsecured bond of $50,000.
Smith, 53, of Randolph, was charged in a criminal complaint with making false statements so that he could fly armed on personal trips and enable a friend to fly with him without being screened by security personnel at Boston’s Logan International Airport. Smith was also charged with unlawfully entering a secure airport area with intent to evade security requirements.
The charges were made on June 27, but the complaint was not unsealed until June 28. Smith had an initial appearance on June 28, and his probable cause hearing was scheduled for August 3.
The conditions of Smith’s release, in addition to the unsecured bond of $50,000, are that he submits to supervision by US Probation and Pretrial Services, surrender his passport, maintain residence and not move without prior permission. Smith’s travel is now restricted to Massachusetts and Smith must not possess a firearm, destructive device, or other weapon.
BPD has not responded to the Gazette’s request for comment.
The complaint alleges that Smith flew armed on approximately 28 separate trips departing from Logan Airport, even though he was not on official business, which is a violation of federal law. These flights allegedly took place between April 2011 and April 2017. The allegation states that on each of those trips, he falsely claimed to have obtained supervisor approval for his travel.
On two of these trips, Smith escorted a friend, Leroy Ross, through Logan Airport without security screening by falsely claiming that Ross was a “dignitary” under Smith’s official police escort. When questioned by TSA security personnel as to what type of dignitary Ross was, Smith falsely replied, “I am not at liberty to divulge that information.” Ross, who has a criminal record, is not a dignitary.
According to the complaint, Smith also fraudulently requested and received overtime pay for an intelligence meeting in Boston that he did not attend because he was on personal travel in North Carolina.
Smith has been employed with the BPD since 1989 and is currently a sergeant detective, according to court documents.
Smith may receive a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentencing is imposed by a federal district court judge.
Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb, Boston Police Commissioner William Evans, and Mark Tasky, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, Washington Field Office, made the announcement today. The investigation was conducted jointly by BPD’s Anti-Corruption Division and DHS-OIG.
Smith is represented by Joshua Hayne, who was unavailable for comment at press time.