Baltimore Police Officers Indicted For Conspiracy, Racketeering


US Attorney for the State of Maryland and Trump's nominee for deputy attorney general Rod J. Rosenstein

Reports show that on Wednesday, seven officers in the Gun Trace Task Force got a slap on the wrist for federal racketeering charges that include robbing people, filing false court paperwork and making fraudulent overtime claims.

Federal prosecutors announced the indictment Wednesday in the city, where the police department entered into a consent decree with the U.S. Justice Department in the final days of the Obama administration, promising to stop abusive tactics and discriminatory practices that included unlawful stops of drivers and pedestrians. In one instance, several of the officers stopped a maintenance supervisor at a nursing home and stole $1,500 that he was planning to use to pay his rent, according to the indictment.

All the officers are charged with racketeering conspiracy for robberies and extortion while part of the gun-crime unit.

In another incident, three of the officers stopped a man on the street, searched his auto without a warrant and later took $1,500 he had earned working as a maintenance supervisor at a nursing home.

Police Commissioner Kevin Davis condemned the officers at a news conference. But Hersl, Jenkins and Rayam took a sock containing $4,800 and removed $2,000 from it, prosecutors said.

Other details in the indictment point to officers flouting some of their department's attempts at reform following the death of Freddie Gray, a young black man fatally injured in police custody in April 2015.

"This is not about aggressive policing, it is about criminal conspiracy", Rosenstein said. Sessions suggested that his Justice Department might "pull back" from civil rights investigations involving police departments.

The alleged actions of the two officers indicates "an egregious breach of public trust" as well as a "flagrant disregard of consequences of their actions", Judge Gallagher said. One was believed to be involved with an illegal drug ring. Federal authorities were listening: inside an electronically surveilled police auto, Rayam was recorded telling Gondo he'd only "taxed" the man "a little bit".

Additionally, four of the defendants busted a man during a traffic stop and confiscated drugs and $21,500 but only turned in $15,000, according to authorities.

The officers were also charged with swearing in false affidavits to obtain search warrants in order to steal property.

Sometimes, the officers turned off their body cameras to avoid recording what they were up to, according to the indictment.

Among the crimes they were arrested for were large-scale overtime and attendance fraud, and the robberies of citizens that ranged from the seizure of possessions and money valued between $200 and $200,000.

"We are very disturbed over the charges filed against our members by the U.S. Attorney today", Ryan said in a statement. These officers are entitled to due process and a fair trial in accordance with the Constitution and the laws of our state.

"It is promising to see the beginning of accountability being applied to the Baltimore Police Department", he said. He declined to make other comments.

Latest News