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Lawsuit Alleges Corruption Within Drug Task Force, Dracut PD

Dec 14, 2016 01:56PM ● By Bill Gilman

Dracut Police Headquarters

A veteran Dracut Police officer, presently out on disability leave, has filed a lawsuit against members of the department, as well as members of a regional drug task force, alleging he was retaliated against when he reported alleged misconduct by members of the task force.
Officer Joseph Jakuttis filed an 88-page lawsuit in Middlesex District Court on Dec. 2, according to a report first published by the Lowell Sun.
According to the Sun report, Jakuttis alleges he was fired from the highly regarded Cross Border Initiative and later demoted by the DPD from detective to patrol officer, as the result of his reporting alleged wrongdoing by his fellow task force members.
Defendants in the lawsuits include the Town of Dracut, Dracut Deputy Chief David Chartrand, DEA Agent Michael O'Hanlon (head of the CBI), an unnamed State Trooper, an unnamed Detective with the DPD and an unnamed officer with the DPD. In the initial court filings, the last three were named only as Joe Does 1,2, and 3. (THE COMPLETE LAWSUIT CAN BE FOUND ATTACHED TO THIS STORY AS A PDF FILE.)
Should the case go to trial, the names would all be made public.
Jakuttis was initially hired by the Dracut Police Department in 1998 and worked his way through the ranks, becoming a detective. He was named the department's "Officer of the Year" in 2004. In 2006, he suffered an injury while undercover and went on disability and then retirement leave.
However, he returned to the job in 2012.
In 2012, he was assigned to the CBI, a newly formed, inter-agency task force designed to combat the increasing flow of interstate drug trafficking in New England.
Jukuttis' allegations against his fellow law enforcement officers stem from a conversation he had with a confidential informant in 2015. According to the report in The Sun, the informant told Jakuttis he had shared drugs  and participated in sex parties with two Dracut Police officers on multiple occasions.
The informant also told Jakuttis he and one of the Dracut officers had stole cocaine during a undercover drug buy, for their personal use later.
Jakuttis took the allegations seriously enough to share them with his CBI supervisor. However, he claims that led to his being the subject of intimidation and harassment, ultimately leading to him being removed from the task force.
When he returned to the DPD, he claims he told he could no longer be a detective and was demoted to patrol officer.
"I take the charges very seriously, however I’m not at liberty to comment at this time." said Dracut Town Manager Jim Duggan.
Dracut Interim Police Chief Neil Caouette did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

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