- Associated Press - Friday, May 27, 2016

BOSTON (AP) - A Lawrence police officer has been charged with attempting to use his position to extort cocaine from a drug dealer.

John Desantis Jr. has worked for the Lawrence Police Department for 16 years.

According to a criminal complaint, the 44-year-old Desantis had been buying small amounts of cocaine once or twice a week for 10 to 12 months without identifying himself as a police officer. The complaint says that during a transaction in his Methuen home last week, he showed his gun and badge, seized the cocaine and threatened to arrest the drug dealer if he did not continue to supply him with drugs.

Desantis appeared briefly in federal court Friday and was ordered held pending a detention hearing on Tuesday.

His lawyer did not immediately return a call seeking comment.


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