Gun Trace Task Force | WYPR

Gun Trace Task Force

Baltimore Police Department

 

Convicted former Baltimore police detective Daniel Hesl was sentenced to 18 years in federal prison today. U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake ordered the sentence for the former Gun Trace Task Force officer after she denied his request for a new trial.

Mary Rose Madden / wypr

Baltimore’s police department was already notorious (see the 2016 DOJ report).   

But this year, eight former police officers were convicted on federal racketeering charges stemming from an FBI investigation. They belonged to an elite task force charged with getting guns off the city’s streets. Instead, the plainclothes cops roamed Baltimore neighborhoods at will, robbing people on the street, breaking into homes to steal money, drugs or guns and planting evidence on their victims.   

Corrupt Cops Get Stiff Sentences

Jun 8, 2018

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.

Eric Minor

By the end of this week, five of the eight convicted cops from the Baltimore Police Department's disbanded Gun Trace Task Force will have been sentenced and could be serving anywhere from 10 to 30 years in federal prison.

Six of them pleaded guilty and two were found guilty by a jury on federal charges of racketeering, conspiracy to racketeer and wire fraud for falsifying overtime claims. The case has left some wondering why it took federal, rather than local, Baltimore  authorities to catch this crew.  

Mary Rose Madden / wypr

The clouds of state and federal felony convictions cleared from Omar Burley’s life Monday as state prosecutors cleared him of all charges against him. Federal prosecutors had cleared Burley of their charges back in December.

Burley, who served seven years of a 15-year sentence in federal prison before he was freed last August, had been framed by Baltimore’s now discredited Gun Trace Task Force.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Two Baltimore police officers have been convicted of racketeering, robbery and wire fraud. Those officers now face up to 60 years in federal prison. Mary Rose Madden from member station WYPR reports.

Two Baltimore police officers were convicted by a federal jury Monday night in a case that laid bare dysfunction within the city police department.

The room was silent as the jury foreman read the verdicts against Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor, the only officers of the disbanded Gun Trace Task Force to go to trial. Racketeering, guilty; racketeering conspiracy, guilty; robbery with the use of force, guilty.

Mary Rose Madden

For nearly three weeks, former police officers, drug dealers who were granted immunity to testify, a bail bondsman and others have painted a picture of a Baltimore Police Department where officers routinely robbed citizens, planted evidence and falsified time sheets.

Now a jury is deliberating whether to convict two of those officers, members of the now disbanded Gun Trace Task Force, of federal racketeering, robbery and wire fraud.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Baltimore’s acting Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa announced additional internal changes to the department Friday. The appointment of one deputy commissioner, Thomas Cassella, is being held up.

De Sousa had named Cassella to be Deputy Commissioner for the Operations Bureau, but documents were leaked to the media alleging two disciplinary complaints against him.

The jury in the trial of two former police officers who were part of Baltimore's now-disbanded Gun Trace Task Force has begun its deliberations. This after closing arguments stretched over two days.

Eight officers on that unit were indicted on federal charges of racketeering, robbery and wire fraud for filing false overtime claims. Six have pleaded guilty and four have testified against their former fellow officers.

WYPR's Mary Rose Madden has been following the trial, and gives Nathan Sterner a recap.

Baltimore City Police Dept/AP

Eight officers on the Baltimore Police Department's now disbanded Gun Trace Task Force have been indicted on federal charges, including racketeering, conspiracy and robbery. Out of the six who have pleaded guilty, four are cooperating with the government and crossing the fabled "blue wall of silence" to testify against their fellow officers.

Michael Pinard, a law professor at the University of Maryland, says their testimony over the last two and a half weeks mirrors the findings of a scathing US Justice Department report a year and a half ago.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

With scathing revelations coming out of the Gun Trace Task Force trials daily, a record year of violence in 2017, and increased mistrust between the police and community, Acting Commissioner Darryl DeSousa has a lot of work on his hands. DeSousa discussed plans to change his department with state lawmakers Friday.