Former Lee police chief files motion for acquittal after extortion conviction

LEE, Mass. (NEWS10) – The former Police Chief convicted of extortion has filed a motion for acquittal.

Joseph Buffis was found guilty back in June for taking $4,000 from a Lee couple in exchange for charges to be dropped. He now wants that extortion charge overturned.

According to the motion his defense attorney argues evidence presented during his trial was insufficient, saying one of the victims who testified had agreed to donate the money before Buffis was even involved.

She argues further that Buffis dropped the charges against the victim because he believed she was remorseful. The exchange of money for the dropped charges eventually led to the larger investigation into Buffis and to the federal indictments accusing him of pocketing more than $100,000 in donations for a holiday toy fund.

Buffis was acquitted of those charges, including seven counts of money laundering, and three counts of wire fraud. He will be sentenced in December and he faces 20 years in prison.

Buffis is also facing another federal trial where he’s accused of having the town foot the bill for his family’s cell phones.

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