Lee police chief indicted for extortion, money laundering

The sitting police chief in Lee, Massachusetts, now faces charges of extortion and money laundering. 

A federal indictment was handed down by a grand jury today against Lee police chief Joseph Buffis.

In January 2012, a Lee couple was investigated for running a prostitution business out of their Inn. Buffis allegedly agreed not to charge them if they donated four thousand dollars to a holiday toy fund for which he was the administrator. The indictment says Buffis later routed that money to a personal bank account.

Berkshire District Attorney David Capeless says the investigation into Buffis began after Capeless’ office was surprised to see no prostitution charges issued.

“My office had assisted the Lee police department into the investigation of prostitution at the Inn, and when we got word back that the charges that had ultimately been applied for had gotten scuttled, we decided to look into the matter.”

Buffis faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for each of the four charges.