Joppa Detective Among 7 Baltimore City Police Officers Arrested for Abusing Power in Racketeering Conspiracy

From the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore:

Federal agents arrested seven Baltimore City Police Department (BPD) officers today for a racketeering conspiracy and racketeering offenses, including robbery, extortion, and overtime fraud. The indictment was returned on February 23, 2017, and unsealed today following the execution of arrest and search warrants. One of the officers also was charged in a separate drug conspiracy indictment, also unsealed today.

The indictments were announced by Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Assistant Special Agent in Charge Don A. Hibbert of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office; and Commissioner Kevin Davis of the Baltimore Police Department.

“This is not about aggressive policing, it is about a criminal conspiracy,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “Prosecuting criminals who work in police agencies is essential both to protect victims and to support the many honorable officers whose reputations they unfairly tarnish.”

“As evidenced by these indictments the FBI will continue to make rooting out corruption at all levels one of its top criminal priorities,” said Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson, FBI Baltimore Field Office. “Coupled with strong leadership by Commissioner Davis and his department, this investigation has dismantled a group of police officers who were besmirching the good name of the Baltimore City Police Department.”

“The police officers charged today with crimes that erode trust with our community have disgraced the Baltimore Police Department and our profession,” said Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis. “We will not shy away from accountability, as our community and the men and women who serve our City every day with pride and integrity deserve nothing less. Our investigative partnership with the FBI will continue as we strive to improve. Reform isn’t always a pretty thing to watch unfold, but it’s necessary in our journey toward a police department our City deserves.”

DEFENDANTS

The officers charged in the racketeering indictment are:
Detective Momodu Bondeva Kenton Gondo, a/k/a GMoney and Mike, age 34, of Owings Mills,
Maryland;
Detective Evodio Calles Hendrix, age 32, of Randallstown, Maryland;
Detective Daniel Thomas Hersl, age 47, of Joppa, Maryland;
Sergeant Wayne Earl Jenkins, age 36, of Middle River, Maryland;
Detective Jemell Lamar Rayam, age 36, of Owings Mills;
Detective Marcus Roosevelt Taylor, age 30, of Glen Burnie; and
Detective Maurice Kilpatrick Ward, age 36, of Middle River.

A separate indictment alleges that Detective Gondo joined a drug-dealing conspiracy. In addition to Gondo, the other indictment charges:
Antonio Shropshire, a/k/a Brill, B, and Tony, age 31, of Baltimore;
Omari Thomas, a/k/a Lil’ Bril, Lil B, and Chewy, age 25, of Middle River;
Antoine Washington, a/k/a Twan, age 27, of Baltimore;
Alexander Campbell, a/k/a Munch, age 28, of Baltimore; and
Glen Kyle Wells, a/k/a Lou, and Kyle, age 31, of Baltimore.

RACKETEERING INDICTMENT

The racketeering indictment alleges that the police officers stole money, property and narcotics from victims, some of whom had not committed crimes; swore out false affidavits; submitted false official incident reports; and engaged in large-scale time and attendance fraud.

Count One, racketeering conspiracy, alleges robbery and extortion violations committed by the defendants in 2015 and 2016 when they were officers in the police department’s Gun Trace Task Force, a specialized unit created to investigate firearms crimes.

Count Two, a substantive racketeering charge, alleges those crimes as well as several incidents of robbery and extortion committed by five of the seven defendants beginning in 2015, before they joined the task force. Four of the defendants previously worked together in another police unit; a fifth defendant was working in a separate unit during the earlier incidents.

In some cases, there was no evidence of criminal conduct by the victims; the officers stole money that had been earned lawfully. In other instances, narcotics and firearms were recovered from arrestees. In several instances, the defendants did not file any police reports. The amounts stolen ranged from $200 to $200,000.

According to the indictment, the defendants schemed to steal money, property, and narcotics by detaining victims, entering residences, conducting traffic stops, and swearing out false search warrant affidavits. In addition, the defendants allegedly prepared and submitted false official incident and arrest reports, reports of property seized from arrestees, and charging documents. The false reports concealed the fact that the officers had stolen money, property and narcotics from individuals.

The indictment alleges that the defendants obstructed law enforcement by alerting each other about potential investigations of their criminal conduct, coaching one another to give false testimony to investigators from the Internal Investigations Division of the BPD, and turning off their body cameras to avoid recording encounters with civilians. Finally, the indictment alleges that the defendants defrauded the BPD and the State of Maryland by submitting false time and attendance records in order to obtain salary and overtime payments for times when the defendants did not work.

For example, according to the indictment, on July 8, 2016, Rayam submitted an affidavit for a search warrant which falsely stated that he, Jenkins and Gondo had conducted a full day of surveillance at the residence of two victims. Later that day, Rayam, Gondo and Hersl conducted a traffic stop of the victims during which Rayam allegedly stole $3,400 in cash. Rayam, Gondo and Hersl then transported the victims to a BPD off-site facility. In a telephone call, Jenkins told Gondo that he would meet them at the facility and that they should introduce Jenkins as the U.S. Attorney. When Jenkins arrived, he told one of the victims that he was a federal officer. Jenkins and Rayam asked the victim if he had any money in his residence, and the victim said he had $70,000 in cash. Jenkins, Rayam, Gondo and Hersl then transported the victims back to their home. In the master bedroom closet, the officers located two heat sealed bundles – one containing $50,000 and the other containing $20,000 in $100 bills. Jenkins, Rayam, Gondo and Hersl stole the $20,000 bundle. Gondo and Rayam later argued about how to divide the stolen money. On July 11, 2016, Gondo deposited $8,000 in cash into his checking account.

Three days after the robbery, on July 11, 2016, Jenkins went on vacation with his family in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, staying until July 16, 2016. The indictment alleges that Jenkins falsely claimed he worked overtime on five of the six days he was on vacation. That same week, Gondo called Rayam and said that working for the BPD was “easy money” and that “one hour can be eight hours,” referring to working for one hour and then claiming eight hours on official time and attendance records.

In another episode alleged in the Indictment, on September 7, 2016, Rayam described to Gondo how he had told Jenkins that he only “taxed” a detainee a “little bit,” referring to stealing some but not all of the detainee’s drug proceeds. Rayam said that they had not arrested the victim, so he “won’t say nothing.” Rayam told Gondo that he had to give Wayne Jenkins $100 of the money stolen from the victim. The victim was not charged.

DRUG INDICTMENT

In a separate seven-count indictment, Gondo, Shropshire, Thomas, Washington, Campbell and Wells are charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin as part of the Shropshire drug trafficking organization (DTO). Washington is charged with possession with intent to distribute and distribution of heroin resulting in death; Shropshire, Gondo, and Campbell are charged with possession with intent to distribute heroin; and Shropshire is also charged with possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine. According to the indictment, the conspirators primarily distributed heroin near the Alameda Shopping Center in Baltimore.

In one telephone call, Detective Gondo allegedly said, “I sell drugs.” In addition to selling heroin, Gondo provided sensitive law enforcement information to other conspirators in order to help the DTO and protect his co-conspirators. For example, Gondo helped Shropshire get rid of a GPS tracking device that had been placed on his vehicle by DEA. Gondo also advised Wells about law enforcement operations in order to protect Wells from being arrested.

CONCLUSION

Anyone who believes they may have information about these cases is urged to call 1-800-CALL FBI (1-800-225-5324).

The seven defendants charged in the racketeering conspiracy each face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the conspiracy and for racketeering. The defendants are expected to have an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Baltimore later today.

Shropshire, Washington, and Campbell each face a mandatory minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison for conspiracy to distribute at least one kilogram of heroin. Gondo, Wells and Thomas each face a mandatory five years and up to 40 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute at least 100 grams of heroin. Washington faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for distribution of heroin resulting in death. Shropshire, Gondo, and Campbell also face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI and Baltimore Police Department for their work in both investigations, and the DEA for its work in the drug investigation. U.S. Attorney Rosenstein also recognized the Baltimore County Police Department and Harford County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in the racketeering case. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Leo J. Wise and Derek E. Hines, who are prosecuting these Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force cases.

Comments

  1. Jaguar Judy says

    Any one of them found guilty should get the maximum. They betrayed the trust of their superiors, their department and the taxpayers and citizens they are sworn to protect and defend. No pleading down to lesser charges. No probation. Hard time all around. And if the prosecutors and judges back down then replace them and get ones that won’t.

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    • SoulCrusher says

      Why? Other than pocket the money themselves, did they really do anything that Law Enforcement doesn’t do on behalf of the State? Do you really think that the confiscated drugs are just destroyed? No. They use it to set up buys and try and track the stuff they put back out on the street. Do you think these Police Officers sold fentanyl laced heroin on the street on purpose? No. It was fentanyl laced product that was confiscated in the first place. Do you think that guns they take off the street are really gotten rid of and never see the street again? No. They put them back on the street and attempt to track them. Hell, remember Fast and Furious! Our government took legitimate guns and put them in the hands of cartel member in a tracking program! Some of those guns were fully automatic! Wake up woman! Smell the coffee! You are just completely socially conditioned…….

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  2. Vic Mackey says

    Hey, Great plot for a TV Show spin off. The Shield Baltimore. The lives and cases of a dirty BPD cop and the police unit under his command.

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    • Ralph says

      HBO’s The Wire had this drama several years ago. Nothing has changed. Baltimore and most anything associated with it is a cesspool.

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  3. Amy Schumer (from Canada) says

    According to Channel 13 News it appears the assistant states attorney office tipped these policeman off about the investigation. Ms. Mosby currently has no comment.

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  4. The man who sold the world says

    I have a difficult time grasping the notion that one officer charged overtime while on vacation. That takes guts and makes me think many more might be in on this, and similar scams.

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    • SoulCrusher says

      Gee, you think? It’s been going on everywhere in government since, let’s see, the day it started! Get real. Police in AA county used to charge fees to businesses for security, yet they were on the clock for the AA Co. Police. They did it in Easton, MD too! Would you ALL stop believing that your government is there to protect you! You need protection from your Government. C’mon people. get real!

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      • john says

        Easton MD has some of the most corrupt traffic cops. They extort lots of money by staging traffic conditions to trick unsuspecting beach goers into shelling big bucks.

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  5. SoulCrusher says

    This is not the terrorism and racketeering that I’ve been talking about. These guys made the mistake of pocketing the proceeds. However, when all the same crimes occur, yet the State gets the proceeds, it gets called Law Enforcement. There is very little difference between what these guys did and what Law Enforcement does to the people of this State each and every day. The Maryland Criminal Justice System, including the Courts, Law Enforcement, State Prosecutors, our own Lawyers, the Parole and Probation system and our elected Legislators have ALL been acting as an Organized Crime Syndicate and a Terrorist Organization upon the people of the State of Maryland. There is NO EXCUSE for Rod Rosenstein to go after these men when he knows that the entire system is ALL about what these guys did to line their own pockets, except that the Government gets the loot themselves. Rod Rosenstein, I’m calling you out. Go and arrest the Judges of the Maryland Court of Appeals for being an Organized Crime Syndicate and a Terrorist Organization. Go and arrest members of the State Legislature, both current and former, that have passed laws that violate the Constitutions of the US and Maryland. Go and arrest each and every attorney that has allowed their clients to be victims of this State’s racketeering operations and terrorist organizations. Go and shut down the Parole and Probation system that is profiting from illegal and unconstitutional convictions through the use of their monitoring fees. The whole system is a racket. Rod Rosenstein won’t do this because he is part of what I’m talking about and approves of the citizens of this country and this State, being subject to the rule of Terrorism by our very own government. You ALL make me sick to my stomach. I love this country, but I hate what our government has become. If our forefathers where here to witness the abomination that our Government has become, they would take up arms, declare the entire government intolerable and probably fight to instill a NEW government that is made up of the people, for the people and to serve the people. Not this system that we have today……

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