For Immediate Release - June 23, 2010

Former Bradford Man Pleads Guilty To Bribery

H. Scott Blatchford, 45, formerly of Bradford, now of Canton, Georgia, pleaded guilty today in Salem Superior Court to bribery to influence business affairs. Judge Timothy Feeley sentenced him to two years in the House of Correction, 10 months to be served with the balance suspended for two years.

Essex First Assistant District Attorney John T. Dawley told the court that from December of 2003 through December of 2006, Blatchford bribed Michael Brooks, the logistics manager of Island Oasis Frozen Cocktail Company, Inc., of Walpole, with total payments of $88,437.

The bribes were intended to influence Brooks to grant the shipping/trucking contracts for his employer to Optimum Source, Inc., of Haverhill, which Blatchford owned.

According to Prosecutor Dawley, the investigation into this matter was a very protracted, complex one. It was conducted by State Police detectives assigned to the Office of Essex District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett, assisted by Robert J. Long, President of the Bob Long Investigations Group LLC. Long is a retired Massachusetts State Police Detective Lt.

"Bribery is not a victimless crime, but in fact has a direct economic impact on consumers," said Dawley. "Increased shipping and operating expenses are eventually passed down to the customers, resulting in increased prices for the products. I should add that Island Oasis was extremely cooperative during this investigation, and had a great appreciation of how this scheme could negatively impact its customers."

Brooks pleaded guilty in Salem Superior Court on July 9, 2009, for his role in the scheme. He was sentenced to one year in the House of Correction, and was placed on probation for two years. In addition, he was ordered to amend his tax return to reflect the $88,437 he received from Blatchford.

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