Boston detective faces sentencing for lying on plane trips so he could fly armed

A veteran Boston police detective who agreed to resign as part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors faces sentencing Thursday for lying to security officials at Logan International Airport so he could fly armed on personal trips and a friend could bypass security screening.

Bruce E. Smith, a 28-year veteran of the police force, is scheduled to be sentenced in US District Court in Boston at 2 p.m. in Courtroom 13 before District Judge Leo T. Sorokin, legal filings show.

Smith pleaded guilty in October in the same courthouse to charges of making false statements. He agreed to resign from his job as part of a plea deal filed in September, in which prosecutors said they would recommend a sentence of six months to a year of probation, possibly with home confinement. He will also pay a $7,500 fine.


According to the US attorney’s office, Smith flew armed on about 28 personal trips that left Logan between May 2011 and April 2017. Federal prosecutors said that with each of those trips, he lied about having obtained “supervisor approval for his travel.”

Get Fast Forward in your inbox:
Forget yesterday's news. Get what you need today in this early-morning email.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

On at least two of the trips, Smith falsely told airport security that a friend was a “dignitary” whom he was escorting in an official police capacity.

Smith’s lawyer, Timothy Burke, has said his client received “numerous community awards and commendations for his work with children in the district where he works” and helped raise money to feed more than 150 homeless people during Thanksgiving.

“The plane trips in question were all for the sole purpose of visiting Sgt. Smith’s aging parents in North Carolina,” Burke said in a September statement. “The issue was thoroughly investigated and determined there was no ulterior motive for carrying his weapon.”

Smith, who remains free pending sentencing, was granted permission to travel out of state to visit his parents between Dec. 8 and 18, court records show.

Danny McDonald of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Travis Andersen can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.