Brookline Police say they arrested a town employee during an undercover sting Friday after he allegedly arranged to exchange marijuana for sex.
Marc Besio, 45, of West Roxbury, has been charged with possession of a class D substance with the intent to distribute and possession of a controlled substance in a school zone.
He pleaded not guilty in Brookline District Court Monday and was released on personal recognizance.
Reached by telephone Tuesday, Besio said he has hired an attorney, whom he declined to name, and he did not wish to comment other than to say that he was "busted with a quarter-ounce of marijuana and they want me to go to jail for two years for that.”
Besio was the second employee of Brookline’s engineering division to be arrested last week. On Monday, Dec. 2, Brookline Police arrested Joshua Layne, an administrative assistant in the engineering division, on a charge of larceny by embezzlement. Police said Layne, who pleaded not guilty to the charge, is believed to have stolen more than $2,000 from a cash box in the department in the last 18 months.
Layne has been placed on paid leave, but Brookline Town Counsel Joslin Ham Murphy declined to comment on Besio’s case Tuesday other than to say he was arrested while off duty.
Brookline Police arrested Besio Friday night while conducting an undercover sting operation to catch people soliciting prostitution or drug dealers, according to a police report. Police posted an ad on Craigslist under the Casual Encounters section representing themselves as a woman looking for a man, according to a police report.
Besio responded that he was looking for a nice woman for a fun date, and undercover officers responded by asking what kind of sexual activity he was interested in. After multiple messages, police said Besio then arranged a sexual conduct-for-marijuana transaction and a meet-up was set for 7 p.m. at an undisclosed location.
At about 7 p.m. Friday, Besio showed up at the location, and police confronted him in front of a building and asked him what he was doing there. Besio said nothing, but police then confiscated a bag from him containing a substance believed to be marijuana, according to a police report, and placed him under arrest.
A second man, Emilio Straubel, 21, of Salisbury, Ma., was also arrested in the sting operation Saturday on multiple drug charges, solicitation for prostitution and carrying a dangerous weapon (a knife), according to a police report. Straubel pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Brookline District Court and was released on personal recognizance.
--Brock Parker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org