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Retired WNY DEA Special Agent Convicted of Obstruction of Justice


A federal jury on Monday convicted retired Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Joseph Bongiovanni, of Tonawanda, in Erie County, of obstruction of justice and making false statements to an agency of the United States. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph M. Tripi, Nicholas T Cooper, and Casey L. Chalbeck, who are handling the case, stated that, between 1998 and February 1, 2019, the defendant served as a Special Agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration. From 2001 until his retirement, Bongiovanni was assigned to the Buffalo Resident Office. Bongiovanni was found guilty of keeping a DEA case file in his residence and lying to FBI Special Agents during the investigation.

The federal jury acquitted Bongiovanni of causing his DEA-issued cellular telephone to be wiped clean, deleting all data from the telephone, on his last day preceding retirement. The federal jury did not reach a decision on multiple charges accusing Bongiovanni of accepting bribes from friends and associates to shield them from potential criminal prosecution.

“I am proud of the work by the trial team on this difficult public corruption case,” stated U.S. Attorney Ross. “The jury’s verdict includes two felony convictions of a former DEA Special Agent for obstruction of justice and making false statements. And we stand ready to retry the remaining counts where there was no unanimous verdict.”

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