(MyFoxBoston.com) – Five Massport employees were arrested Tuesday for allegedly taking bribes from taxi drivers in exchange for preferential – and illegal – treatment at Logan International Airport's cab stands.
Massachusetts State Police and Massport officials said all five defendants are employed as Ground Transportation Unit agents, known as "cab starters," and are charged with accepting a corrupt gift.
All five defendants were arrested following a lengthy investigation that included video surveillance, secretly-recorded conversations with the defendants, the review of GPS monitoring devices on Boston taxi cabs, as well as additional evidence. The investigation began in September 2012.
The procedure for taxi cabs operating at the airport is regulated such that drivers are supposed to report to the Taxi Pool, obtain a pool ticket, place that ticket on their dashboard, and line up in rows until dispatched to a terminal cab stand, which is staffed by a Ground Transportation Unit agent. The wait time until dispatch is on average an hour to an hour and a half, but can be longer if fewer passengers need cabs on a given day.
The defendants reportedly took bribes from drivers in exchange for allowing them to skip the wait in the Taxi Pool.
Some of the drivers who jumped the line reportedly told investigators that they made about $350 per day following the procedure, but could make as much as $600 if they paid a "cab starter."
Between November 2012 and January 2013, the defendants received more than $1000 in alleged bribe money as part of the investigation. They would also take goods in lieu of cash.
Kenneth Clement, 67, of Attleoro; Michael Garvey, 51, of Melrose; Vadim Mkrtychev, 37, of West Roxbury; James Mulrey, 45, of Canton, and Donald Potts, 47, of Medford, are expected to be arraigned Wednesday in East Boston District Court.
Officials said additional defendants could be charged in the coming weeks.