Two members of the Baltimore Police Department’s disbanded Gun Trace Task Force were sentenced to lengthy prison terms Thursday for a host of crimes ranging from racketeering to wire fraud.
U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake sentenced Sgt. Wayne Jenkins, a leader of the disgraced task force, to 25 years, five years less than the maximum prosecutors had requested. She sentenced Marcus Taylor, one of only two members of the unit to stand trial, to 18 years.
They were the second and third members of the eight-member task force to be sentenced. Blake sentenced Sgt. Thomas Allers, another former supervisor, to 15 years last month.
Former detectives Evodio Hendrix and Maurice Ward were to be sentenced Friday. Both pleaded guilty and have been cooperating with prosecutors, including testifying against Taylor and Daniel Hersl at their trial.
During Jenkins sentencing hearing assistant U.S. Attorney Leo Wise said the former sergeant led his officers in committing systematic fraud on the city.
He recounted how Jenkins, who pleaded guilty, had been involved in ten armed robberies and three burglaries, how he stole drugs from drug dealers and resold them and how he falsified overtime on his timesheets to almost double his salary for years and showed his squad how to fix their timesheets.
“How do you measure the harm,” Wise asked, arguing for a 30-year sentence.
Jenkins lawyer, Steve Levin, said his client was wracked with remorse, that he’d already been beaten by one inmate who heard about Jenkins’ crimes.
Levin pleaded for a 20-year sentence, arguing that Jenkins will be incarcerated in a prison far from Baltimore to keep him safe from those who would want to retaliate and that he would rarely to get see his wife and three sons. He would be in “substantial isolation,” Levin said.
When it was his turn, Jenkins turned to the packed gallery, took a microphone and apologized to the victims in the courtroom. He spoke for about five minutes – breaking down often when he spoke of not being able to hold his children or see his parents grow older. He admitted he’d tarnished his badge.
“I brought this on myself,” he said through tears.
But Judge Blake was not moved. She told Jenkins he stole from a city that doesn’t have money to spare and that the effects of his behavior will be long-lasting. She said Jenkins had put poison into the community when he should have been protecting it.