Berkshire County

Ex-Lee Police Chief Joseph Buffis ordered to prison

Defense argued his he should not be in prison due to high blood pressure

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Former Lee Police Chief Joseph Buffis will have to report to a Rhode Island prison, after a federal judge rejected a motion by his defense lawyers to instead report to a different facility.

Attorneys for Buffis argued that because he has high blood pressure, he should be allowed to go to a correctional facility that also has a medical facility. They had also expressed concerns that the former chief would be incarcerated along with people who he helped put in prison in the first place.

Judge Mark Mastroianni, however, determined that medical care for Buffis is adequate at the Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, Rhode Island, and ordered Buffis Tuesday morning to surrender to U.S. Marshals. He was taken from U.S. District Court in Springfield to Wyatt.

Related: Ex-Lee police chief sentenced to 20 months in prison

Buffis was sentenced to 27 months in prison for using his position as chief to extort a $4,000 donation to a toy fund that he controlled, from a couple that was facing prostitution-related charges at the time. Buffis was fired from his job as chief following his 2013 indictment, and the charges that had been filed against the couple were later dropped.

While he was found guilty of extortion, a federal jury did acquit Buffis of 10 additional charges of money laundering and wire fraud in connection with the case.


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