USA: school teacher bribed Federal agent to hide drug trade

Prosecutors say, that a school teacher Michael Masecchia in Buffalo paid DEA agent Joseph Bongiovanni a $ 250,000 bribe to “protect and advise drug traffickers in order to avoid scrutiny by law enforcement”, reports WKBW. 

In August 2019, police arrested a school teacher in Buffalo on Federal drug charges after finding a cache of weapons and explosives in his home across from the high school

Last November, prosecutors accused a recently retired DEA agent of taking bribes to protect his friends, who police allege were linked to organized crime.

These two apparently separate events are now publicly linked for the first time in a new indictment filed in the US district court in Buffalo.

An indictment filed earlier this month alleges that teacher Michael Masecchia bribed DEA agent Joseph Bongiovanni to hide his drug trade from the feds.

The indictment says Michael Masecchia, a teacher at Grover Cleveland high school, “was involved in possession with intent to distribute and distribute controlled substances for more than 20 years” in the Buffalo region.

Prosecutors say Masecchia “was the target or target of several DEA cases” during Bongiovanni’s time as an agent, but was never arrested or charged because Bongiovanni “did not investigate his friends and associates and used his position as a DEA [special agent] in Buffalo … to protect your friends and associates.

According to prosecutors, Masecchia paid Bongiovanni a $ 250,000 bribe to “protect and advise drug traffickers in order to avoid scrutiny by law enforcement.”

Masecchia has been a English teacher in Buffalo public schools for 30 years. He has trained more than 25,000 students in the classroom and coached many others on the football, softball, and soccer fields.

Bongiovanni and Masecchia are currently charged with 17 Federal charges, including drug and weapons possession and obstruction of justice (bribery). The trial is scheduled for November.

Early Colombian drug trafficker Alex Cifuentes has accused former Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto of taking bribes from drug Lord Joaquin Guzman, better known as El Chapo (Shorty).