Baltimore police officers arrested on racketeering charges

Justin Greene
March 3, 2017

Seven Baltimore police officers were arrested Wednesday on federal racketeering charges, U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein announced.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, the officers are being charged in connection with a racketeering conspiracy and racketeering offenses, including robbing victims, filing false affidavits and making fraudulent overtime claims.

The officers had initial appearances on Wednesday in a USA court in Baltimore and were ordered held pending detention hearings, a spokeswoman for Rosenstein said.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch, right, speaks during a joint news conference in Baltimore on January announce the Baltimore Police Department's commitment to a sweeping overhaul of its practices under a court-enforceable agreement with the federal government.

It is blatant abuse of power the feds say including the swindling of nearly $400,000 in overtime between the seven officers in fiscal year 2016 alone.

Federal prosecutors said the men began their criminal enterprise in 2015, after the city erupted into protest over the death of a young black man, Freddie Gray, while he was in police custody. "We have aggressively been pursuing personnel records to be able to highlight the issues with their credibility on the force".

"I turned the camera off", Gondo said.

The explosive indictment reads more like a Hollywood movie script than a routine charging document, as the feds followed what they described as a squad of renegade officers committing brazen robberies and staging cover-ups to avoid detection by their supervisors.

All seven officers - one sergeant and six detectives - were assigned at one point to the same unit, Baltimore's Gun Trace Task Force. In one case, they allegedly stole $200,000 from a man they arrested in a traffic stop.

Baltimore Deputy Public Defender Natalie Finegar said the majority of the indicted officers had "significant credibility issues".

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

Another of the officers received overtime pay when he went on a family vacation in SC, court documents said.

Davis said that this investigation is part of a larger effort to reform the police department.

The poster indicates that one officer allegedly doubled his or her salary through overtime.

The president of the Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police, Gene Ryan, said he was "disturbed" by the charges.

Family members declined to speak to comment.

Five of the seven Baltimore police detectives charged are pictured in an October 2016 departmental newsletter.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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