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Top Cop Threatened Man With Fake Arrest

Brian Buglio was apparently upset by critical Facebook comments
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2021 7:23 AM CDT

(Newser) – A police chief in Pennsylvania is now out of a job and facing prison time after allegedly threatening to jail a man who insulted him on Facebook. In February 2020, East Stroudsburg resident Paul DeLorenzo had penned a Facebook post in which he accused West Hazleton Police Chief Brian Buglio of committing a violent crime and said he was slow to make an arrest. DeLorenzo tells WNEP that the chief then "called me, left me a voicemail, and said that he was going to arrest me for a crime that was being investigated—for something I've never even done or had any part of." During a meeting in March, DeLorenzo says Buglio threatened to file a felony charge against him unless he deleted the critical posts. "He goes, 'Well, you like to post fake things and fake stories about me so, I could make up a fake arrest and put you in jail.'"

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DeLorenzo says Buglio acknowledged at the meeting that the threatened charges were bogus. But he says he agreed to remove the posts. Later, he spoke with the FBI about what had happened. Federal authorities say 45-year-old Buglio, who's been a police officer in West Hazleton for the last 25 years, has now agreed to plead guilty to a civil rights violation. He faces a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine. However, authorities recommend Buglio "get something less than that," per WNEP. The police chief has also resigned from his post, as required by the plea agreement, per WBRE. DeLorenzo tells that outlet that Buglio should "never have any job in law enforcement" again. Another local resident says he's "appalled," per WNEP. "[Buglio] shouldn't be able to determine the things other people have to say." (Read more police chiefs stories.)

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