Former Watertown police officer pleads guilty to involvement in drug ring

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A former Watertown police officer pleaded guilty last week in federal court to tipping off a suspected drug dealer to a federal investigation and providing him sensitive information, including the home addresses of two fellow officers.

Roberto Velasquez-Johnson, 45, could face up to five years in prison for one count of conspiring to obstruct a federal investigation and one count of making a false statement, prosecutors said.

He was among 20 people caught up in a federal probe in 2011 of an organized drug operation that spanned from Canada to California with a hub in Watertown.

Relying on extensive wiretaps, federal investigators alleged that Safwan “Sammy” Madarati, a Watertown resident and the operation’s ringleader, conspired, along with his associates, to distribute 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, cocaine, and oxycodone.

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