Five Wilmington Police Officers were recently recognized for outstanding police work at the United States Attorney’s Office Law Enforcement Public Service Awards. The ceremony that recognized individuals from local, state, & federal law enforcement agencies was held on May 22 at the District of Massachusetts US Attorney’s Office in Boston. The Wilmington Officers were recognized for the role they played in two federal cases that led to multiple criminal convictions.
Retired Chief Michael Begonis, Lieutenant Brian Pupa, retired Detective John Bosssi, Detective Christopher Dindo, & Detective Michael Patterson were recognized for their work in the case of United States V. Patrick Keogan with the Investigative Achievement Award. The award was given to recognize those individuals who substantially contributed to the mission of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice.
The investigation into Keogan, a Wilmington resident, started after he posted several threatening images on Facebook pages belonging to the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center and the Islamic Society of Northeastern University. The award citation stated that “The investigation started with searches of Keogan’s Facebook account, which consisted of over 20,000 pages of bigoted and racist rhetoric – and also evidence that he had been buying, selling, trading, building, modifying, possessing and shooting firearms and ammunition, despite his prohibition from doing so as a convicted felon. This led to searches of Keogan’s other online accounts, a GPS tracker installed on Keogan’s car, and live surveillance of Keogan attending gun and knife shows. Ultimately, investigators established through GPS data and in-store surveillance footage that in May 2016, Keogan purchased rifle ammunition at a gun store in New Hampshire and brought it over the Massachusetts border. Upon Keogan’s arrest in July 2016, authorities searched his residence and found a light machine gun, assault rifles, sniper rifles, and thousands of rounds of ammunition. A search of Keogan’s iPhone and iPad revealed that he also possessed child pornography.”
Based on the collaborative investigation between the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms, the Massachusetts State Police, and the Wilmington Police Department, Patrick Keogan was arrested and pleaded guilty to two counts of making a threat to injure or intimidate another individual or to unlawfully damage or destroy a building by means of fire; one count of being a convicted felon in possession of firearms and ammunition; and one count of possessing child pornography. Keogan was sentenced to five years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release.
Detective Michael Patterson, currently assigned to the DEA Task Force, was also recognized with an Outstanding Collaborative Investigation Award. This award recognized investigators from a multi-agency collaboration whose exceptional efforts to overcome significant challenges led to a successful conclusion. Detective Patterson received this award along representatives from the Drug Enforcement Administration, Essex County District Attorney’s Office, Haverhill Police Department, Lawrence Police Department, and the Massachusetts Stated Police for their work on Operation Bad Company.
The award citation stated that “The award recipients went above and beyond, collaborating seamlessly to develop an airtight case against more than 30 defendants distributing fentanyl and cocaine in the Lawrence area. The investigation, known as Operation Bad Company, involved two separate drug trafficking organizations led by Juan Anibel Patrone and Santo Ruiz Nivar, who supplied much of New England with fentanyl and cocaine.”
Based on this investigation, 30 individuals were arrested and over three dozen search warrants were executed which led to a seizure of over two kilograms of fentanyl. All of the defendants pleaded guilty except for one who was tried and convicted.
When the award was presented, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ted Heinrich stated, “Today, we honor the team’s leaders – for their efforts and success. But our appreciation goes out to all involved – the rest of the team at DEA’s Cross Border’s Initiative, and all of the local police and Massachusetts State Troopers who helped with surveillance and stops and search warrants. It was an immense piece of work, and one of which all of law enforcement should be proud.”
The Wilmington Police Department takes great pride in our collaboration with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners. We wish to congratulate all of the award recipients for a job well done.