Six Baltimore police officers plead guilty to racketeering
6 February 2018
Eight of nine members of an elite Baltimore Police Department task force have been charged with crimes including robbery, extortion and fabricating evidence in a case which has exposed the sorts of brazen corruption and illegal practices which pervade police departments throughout the US.
Six of the eight pleaded guilty to racketeering and other charges last month. Two officers, Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor, are currently on trial in federal court facing robbery, extortion, and overtime fraud charges.
The charged officers were members of the now-defunct Gun Trace Task Force (GTTF), which was ostensibly set up in 2007 to focus on cracking down on illegal gun possession in order to reduce the number of guns in the city. Instead, the members of the group systematically violated the Constitutional rights of Baltimore’s residents and used their authority to steal drugs and cash to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The leader of the task force, Wayne Jenkins, admitted in his plea agreement to numerous constitutional rights violations, including the regular use of GPS devices to track people he suspected of having cash, and entering their premises without a warrant in order to steal from them.
Jenkins also admitted to being involved in a scheme to plant drugs on an innocent man, stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from Baltimore residents and providing cocaine and marijuana to an unidentified associate to resell on the streets. Jenkins split the profits of the drug sales, netting himself $200,000 to $250,000. Additionally, Jenkins admitted to stealing dirt bikes and reselling prescription drugs taken during the 2015 protests following the police murder of Freddie…