Federal Judges

Police Chief Cops to Social Media Retaliation and Another Officer Charged with Sexual Misconduct and Bribery

West Hazleton Police Chief Brian Buglio Charged With Civil Rights Violation under the Color of Law and Officer Charged with Federal Bribery.

West Hazleton Police Chief Charged With Civil Rights Violation

MAY 28, 2021 | REPUBLISHED BY LIT: JUN 8, 2021

LIT UPDATE

Brian Buglio pled guilty on June 22, 2021, this is what happened next:

ORDER Setting Conditions of Release. Defendant released on his own recognizance with some conditions. Signed by Magistrate Judge Joseph F. Saporito, Jr on 6/22/21. (ms)(Copy to KK at Scranton Marshal from Chambers) (Entered: 06/22/2021)

Brian Buglio Federal Charges and Plea Agreement

NOTICE OF RESCHEDULED IN COURT HEARING as to Brian Buglio Arraignment and Plea set for 6/11/21 RESCHEDULED TO 6/22/2021 10:30 AM in Wilkes-Barre – Courtroom 1 before Magistrate Judge Joseph F. Saporito Jr..

Initial Appearance (Rule 5 Hearing) set for 6/11/21 RESCHEDULED TO 6/22/2021 10:30 AM in Wilkes-Barre – Courtroom 1 before Magistrate Judge Joseph F. Saporito Jr..Signed by Magistrate Judge Joseph F. Saporito, Jr on 6/4/21. (ms)(Copy to Scranton Court Reporters and Marshal from Chambers) (Entered: 06/04/2021)

Magistrate Judge Joseph F. Saporito Jr.

SCRANTON- The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Brian Buglio, age 45, of Lattimer Mines, Pennsylvania, was charged in a criminal information on May 27, 2021, with a civil rights violation.

According to Acting United States Bruce D. Brandler, the information alleges that Buglio, the Chief of Police for the West Hazleton Police Department, threatened a private citizen with criminal charges, in retaliation for social media posts created by the private citizen that were critical of Buglio and of the West Hazleton Police Department.

The case was investigated by the Scranton Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Public Corruption Task Force, which consists of members of the Pennsylvania State Police and the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, and federal agents from the FBI and Internal Revenue Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Phillip J. Caraballo is prosecuting the case.

Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The maximum penalty under federal law for this offense is one year of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine.

Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs.

For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

Former Scranton Police Officer Charged With Federal Bribery Violation

JUN 7, 2021 | REPUBLISHED BY LIT: JUN 8, 2021

Complaint by Doe v. City of Scranton (3:20-cv-00490), District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania re Corrupt Cop Thomas McDonald

United States District Judge Malachy E. Mannion

SCRANTON- The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Thomas McDonald, age 47, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, was charged in a criminal information with a federal bribery violation.

According to Acting United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, the information alleges that McDonald, while working as a police officer for the Scranton Police Department in April 2018,

corruptly solicited for his own benefit, sex and sexual favors from Person #1,

intending to be influenced in official actions of the Scranton Police Department and the City of Scranton.

It is also alleged that McDonald’s related conduct also included felony bribery violations with respect to Persons #2 through #4.

“Law enforcement officers hold enormous power over the citizenry and we trust them to exercise that power ethically and with integrity,”

stated Acting United states Attorney Bruce D. Brandler.

“While most officers perform their duty in an exemplary fashion, we will not hesitate to prosecute those officers who break the law and undermine the administration of justice by engaging in the reprehensible behavior charged here.

I want to thank all the law enforcement agents and the entire prosecution team for handling this sensitive matter professionally and expeditiously.”

“The activities alleged today are a serious divergence from the oath Thomas McDonald took to faithfully serve and protect the city of Scranton,”

said Michael J. Driscoll, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division.

“He betrayed the people of his community and all of us who wear a badge and believe no one is above the law.

The FBI will continue to root out corrupt law enforcement officers, on behalf of the vast majority of officers who carry out their duties honestly and honorably.”

“The Pennsylvania State Police worked in collaboration with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to ensure a thorough and comprehensive investigation,”

said Major Randy Devine, commander of the Pennsylvania State Police Area III.

“Corruption and bribery in any form are serious crimes. When public trust is violated by a municipal law enforcement agency, it is our duty to hold those responsible accountable for their actions.”

“Law enforcement officers hold enormous power over the citizenry and we trust them to exercise that power ethically and with integrity,”

stated Acting United states Attorney Bruce D. Brandler.

“While most officers perform their duty in an exemplary fashion, we will not hesitate to prosecute those officers who break the law and undermine the administration of justice by engaging in the reprehensible behavior charged here.

I want to thank all the law enforcement agents and the entire prosecution team for handling this sensitive matter professionally and expeditiously.”

“The activities alleged today are a serious divergence from the oath Thomas McDonald took to faithfully serve and protect the city of Scranton,”

said Michael J. Driscoll, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division.

“He betrayed the people of his community and all of us who wear a badge and believe no one is above the law. The FBI will continue to root out corrupt law enforcement officers, on behalf of the vast majority of officers who carry out their duties honestly and honorably.”

“The Pennsylvania State Police worked in collaboration with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to ensure a thorough and comprehensive investigation,”

said Major Randy Devine, commander of the Pennsylvania State Police Area III.

“Corruption and bribery in any form are serious crimes. When public trust is violated by a municipal law enforcement agency, it is our duty to hold those responsible accountable for their actions.”

“I am as appalled and disappointed by this tragedy today as I was the day I first learned that a former member of our force grossly abused his authority, committing vile, repulsive acts,”

said Scranton’s Police Chief, Superintendent Leonard Namiotka.

“Mr. McDonald must pay the price for his crimes, like anyone else.

If there is a bright spot, it is that since she came into office last year, Mayor Cognetti’s uniformed services agenda has included making significant improvements to our department’s internal processes and communications.

Accomplishing that should go a long way towards providing earlier warning of issues like this going forward.

But what may be most important right now is for Scrantonians to know that McDonald’s actions are not at all representative of our well-trained, caring and dedicated police personnel, a group of men and women whose actions each and every day are proof that they live by the credo of protecting and serving our community.”

McDonald was terminated from his position as a Scranton Police Officer in June 2020.

The case was investigated by the Scranton Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Public Corruption Task Force, which consists of members of the Pennsylvania State Police and the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, and federal agents from the FBI and Internal Revenue Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Olshefski is prosecuting the case.

Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The maximum penalty under federal law for this offense is ten years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine.

Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs.

For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

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United States District Court
Middle District of Pennsylvania (Scranton)
CRIMINAL DOCKET FOR CASE #: 3:21-cr-00157-JFS-1

Case title: USA v. Buglio Date Filed: 05/27/2021

 

Date Filed # Docket Text
06/25/2021 19 RECEIPT Special Admission for Attorney Fortunato N. Perri, Jr; # 333076889; $50.00 (cl) (Entered: 06/25/2021)
06/22/2021 18 ORDER Setting Conditions of Release. Defendant released on his own recognizance with some conditions. Signed by Magistrate Judge Joseph F. Saporito, Jr on 6/22/21. (ms)(Copy to KK at Scranton Marshal from Chambers) (Entered: 06/22/2021)
06/22/2021 17 Order of Referral to Probation for Presentence Investigation and Report; PSR due 8/6/21 Signed by Magistrate Judge Joseph F. Saporito, Jr on 6/22/21. (ms) (Entered: 06/22/2021)
06/22/2021 16 GUILTY PLEA ENTERED as to counts 1 as to Brian Buglio (ms) (Entered: 06/22/2021)
06/22/2021 15 WAIVER OF INDICTMENT by Brian Buglio (ms) (Entered: 06/22/2021)
06/22/2021 14 CONSENT TO TRIAL BEFORE US MAGISTRATE JUDGE by Brian Buglio (ms) (Entered: 06/22/2021)
06/22/2021 9 SPECIAL ADMISSIONS FORM APPROVED as to Fortunato N. Perri, Jr. Signed by Magistrate Judge Joseph F. Saporito, Jr on 6/22/21. (ms) (Entered: 06/22/2021)
06/04/2021 8 NOTICE OF RESCHEDULED IN COURT HEARING as to Brian Buglio Arraignment and Plea set for6/11/21 RESCHEDULED TO 6/22/2021 10:30 AM in Wilkes-Barre – Courtroom 1 before Magistrate Judge Joseph F. Saporito Jr.. Initial Appearance (Rule 5 Hearing) set for 6/11/21 RESCHEDULED TO 6/22/2021 10:30 AM in Wilkes-Barre – Courtroom 1 before Magistrate Judge Joseph F. Saporito Jr..Signed by Magistrate Judge Joseph F. Saporito, Jr on 6/4/21. (ms)(Copy to Scranton Court Reporters and Marshal from Chambers) (Entered: 06/04/2021)
Police Chief Cops to Social Media Retaliation and Another Officer Charged with Sexual Misconduct and Bribery
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