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Indicted Medford police officer on unpaid leave

Posted by Jarret Bencks  August 19, 2013 04:15 PM

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A Medford police officer who was indicted last week on charges connected to a murder at his Stoneham home has been placed on unpaid leave, Medford Mayor Michael McGlynn said Monday.

Miguel Lopez, 53, was indicted last Thursday on two counts of witness intimidation after allegedly removing evidence of a drug deal at his 6 Micah's Pond Way home that led to the shooting death of 27-year-old Joseph Puopolo shortly after midnight July 3. He then allegedly lied to State Police investigating the shooting.

Lopez met with Medford Police Chief Leo Sacco within hours of the city learning of the indictment on Thursday afternoon. Sacco notified Lopez he was being put on unpaid leave, a move that was finalized later Thursday evening, McGlynn said.

Jessie Williams, 24, of Medford and Eugene Tate, 19, of Malden were arrested July 7 in connection to Puopolo's death. They were also indicted Thursday on charges of murder, armed assault with intent to murder, armed assault in a dwelling, assault with a dangerous weapon, armed robbery, and illegal possession of a firearm.

Williams and Tate had allegedly arranged to buy drugs from a 28-year-old man who lived at the Stoneham home with Lopez. But when Williams and Tate entered the home, they drew handguns on Puopolo and the other man, demanded drugs and money, then shot both of them, prosecutors said.

The second victim was shot in the abdomen and was later released from the hospital. Prosecutors have refused to release his name.

Lopez will remain on unpaid leave until the criminal proceedings against him conclude, McGlynn said.

Jarret Bencks can be reached at bencks.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on twitter @JarretBencks.

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