When Your Local Cops are Steroid Dealers, Part 7 – The Boston Police Department

Roberto Pulido is considered the most completely and thoroughly corrupt cop in the recent history of the Boston Police Department. Pulido’s extensive criminal activities came to light during an undercover FBI investigation into drug trafficking in the Boston area in 2007. Extensive surveillance produced covertly-recorded conversations in which Pulido arranged illegal transactions involving the distribution of anabolic steroids and other drugs.

Steroids were really only the tip of the iceberg. Pulido was also the organizer of a vast criminal enterprise involving cocaine, prostitution, identity theft, fraud, loan sharking, fraudulent gift cards and smuggling illegal aliens among other things. This laundry list of crime made prosecutors forget all about the steroids. That is, the steroid issue was forgotten until Pulido made it one of the central arguments in his defense.

The public defender representing Pulido blamed anabolic steroids and “steroid addiction” for leading Pulido into a life of crime. According to Pulido, being “pumped full of steroids” exaggerated many of his criminal behaviors and resulted in some of his most audacious crimes.

In April 2006, Pulido arranged protection for the transport of 40 kilograms of cocaine into a storage facility in Boston. In June, Pulido recruited two fellow Boston Police officers to provide guide police transport of a truck containing cargo of 100 kilograms of coacine into Boston.

Shortly thereafter, Pulido made a deal to protect a future shipment involving 1,000 kilograms of cocaine and 5 kilograms of heroin.

Pulido and his associates pocketed $71,000 in exchange for their services. Unbeknownst to them, the cocaine dealers they thought they were working for were really undercover FBI agents using cocaine from a previous government seizure.

Pulido and his co-defendants were arrested in Miami in July 2006. Pulido pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine and 1 kilogram of heroin, plus two counts of attempting to aid and abet the distribution of the cocaine.

Not surprisingly, United States District Judge William Young categorically rejected Pulido’s “dumbbell defense” that steroids made him do it. Prosecutors requested a prison sentence of 26 years. Judge Young agreed.

“The people who wear that badge have a sense of honor,” Judge Young said during sentencing in 2008. “You are . . . dead to that sense of honor.”

“A famous man once said that duty is the noblest word in the English language. You have no sense of duty.”

A good argument can be made for the repeal of the prohibition of drugs such as anabolic steroids. Such crimes are typically victimless and non-violent. There are much better approaches to dealing with the issue of steroid use in society rather than steroid criminalization.

However, steroid use by cops is another matter entirely. As long as the non-medical use of steroids remains illegal, cops who use steroids must necessarily be involved in corruption and participation in illegal activities. Not every cop on steroids becomes as thoroughly corrupt as Pulido. But mere steroid use places them on an unacceptable slippery slope. Cops who think they are above the law, at any level, and abdicate their sworn duty to uphold the law are a threat to society.

The Complete Series: When Your Local Cops Are Steroid Dealers


  • Saltzman, J. (May 27, 2008). Officer gets 26 years in trafficking scheme. Retrieved from https://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/05/17/officer_gets_26_years_in_trafficking_scheme/

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