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Seven Baltimore City Police officers are being federally indicted for a racketeering conspiracy, according to the Justice Department, in an investigative case that was secretly conducted and kept quiet about even from the city's State's Attorney.
The arrests of the officers allegedly involved in racketeering were announced in the U.S. Attorney’s Office on Wednesday morning. The accused officers were reportedly robbing victims ranging from $200,000 to a 'couple hundred dollars,' filing false affidavits, and making fraudulent overtime claims while officers vacationed in Myrtle Beach and gambled at casinos.
…One of the officers was also accused in a separate indictment of participating in an illegal drug organization and tipping its members off to investigations.
…Sometimes, narcotics and weapons were seized in addition to money and, "in several instances, the defendants did not file any police reports," the indictment alleges.
The Baltimore DEA’s Assistant Special Agent in Charge Don Hibbert explained that the DEA was conducting a probe when they "discovered information in the course of our drug investigation and we were able to work with our partners at Baltimore PD and the FBI and passed the information along and it worked the way it should” have been….
…Commissioner Davis did recognize the "apparent irony" that these overtime claims were being made at a time when the DOJ was conduction an investigation into the police department's civil rights violations.
Some of the officers have long been accused of using excessive force or of other wrongdoing. The city has paid out more than $500,000 in settlements in cases involving the officers, according to a review by The Baltimore Sun.
Members of the city's state legislative delegation called for a federal investigation into Rayam in 2009 after he was involved in three shootings over the course of two years. The city has settled multiple lawsuits involving Hersl.
"The majority of these officers have been known to my attorneys as having significant credibility issues," Baltimore Deputy Public Defender Natalie Finegar said. "We have aggressively been pursuing personnel records to be able to highlight the issues with their credibility on the force."
Rosenstein said federal prosecutors quietly dropped five cases involving the Gun Trace Task Force while the officers were being investigated.
As recently as October, the Police Department was praising the unit in an internal newsletter for its work getting guns off the streets. The unit made more than 110 gun arrests in less than 11 months last year.
The indictment also alleges that when officers found out about internal investigation interviews, they coached one another ahead of time. On or around September 7, Gondo and Rayam were inside Gondo's Baltimore City Police car. Gondo asked Rayam if he was going to the Internal Investigations Division (IID) to be interviewed. When Rayam said he had to give IID a report on the 15th, Gondo reportedly told 'Sarge' not to 'say anything about the entry.' Later on the 13th, again in Gondo's police car, they "discussed how what is recorded on their body cameras will 'come back to bite [them]' and how Rayam would meet up with Sergeant A. to "coach him" before the internal investigations interview
originally posted by: iTruthSeeker
Is this a case of Cops robbing drug dealers?
Rosenstein said that the indictment alleges that these officers "were stopping people who had not committed crimes and stealing money.