Saturday, 2:15 PM
Lowell police officer arrested on gambling, extortion charges
By John M. Guilfoil, Globe Correspondent
A Lowell police officer was indicted today on charges he gambled illegally on sports and used his law enforcement powers to dig up dirt on his Westford bookie to get out of paying back his debts.
David Annis, 33, faces gambling, extortion, and charges that he illegally obtained criminal record information to intimidate the bookmaker from collecting his $5,000 tab.
“We allege that David Annis violated the trust and authority bestowed on him as a police officer to commit these crimes,” Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone said in a statement. Leone thanked the Lowell police for their cooperation in discovering the alleged crime and reporting it to his office.
Authorities said Annis began an unsuccessful gambling spree last August, betting online through the bookmaker. In September, the bookmaker asked to meet Annis to collect the money Annis owed him. During the meeting, Annis allegedly showed the bookmaker his badge and the criminal records and said he might be “investigating gambling cases.” He said the bookmaker wouldn't be arrested if “things could go smoothly.”
A man who answered the phone at the number listed for Annis in Lowell declined to comment.
“If these allegations prove to be true, Officer Annis will have betrayed his oath of office and his badge,” said Lowell Police Superintendent Kenneth Lavallee. “Public trust is critical to the law enforcement mission.”
The department would not comment on whether Annis would be suspended or placed on leave pending the outcome of his case. No arraignment date has been set.
John Guilfoil can be reached at email@example.com
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