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Medford police officer indicted on charges he misled police in murder investigation

Posted by boston.com  August 15, 2013 03:34 PM

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A Medford police officer is facing charges after he allegedly lied to police in interviews and removed evidence following a murder at his Stoneham home, according to prosecutors.

Miguel Lopez, 53, was indicted Thursday by a Middlesex County Grand Jury on two counts of witness intimidation, District Attorney Marian Ryan said in a statement.

Lopez allegedly removed evidence of a planned 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 on July 3. Lopez also lied to police in interviews directly after the shooting, though prosecutors did not reveal the nature of those statements.

"These are very serious allegations that a law enforcement official acted to conceal evidence and hinder a police investigation into a double shooting that left one man dead," Ryan said in a statement. "This alleged conduct compromises the integrity of our criminal justice system and we will fully prosecute any one who attempts to interfere with an investigation."

Along with Puopolo, a second unidentified 28-year-old man was shot in the abdomen and later released from the hospital.

Jessie Williams, 24, of Medford, and Eugene Tate, 19, of Malden were indicted of murder and five other charges Thursday in connection with the shootings.

Williams and Tate arranged to purchase drugs from the 28-year-old victim the night of the shooting, but when they entered the home, they drew handguns on Puopolo and the other man, demanded drugs and money, and then shot them, prosecutors said.

Williams and Tate were arraigned July 8 in Woburn District Court and ordered held without bail. An arraignment date for Lopez has not yet been set.

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

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