By Amy Lukau
In Baltimore yesterday seven police officers were arrested in a large corruption case that many have said to be disgraceful.
These seven officers are being charged in connection with a racketeering conspiracy and racketeering offenses, including robbing victims, filing false affidavits and making fraudulent overtime claims according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The officers, Det. Momodu Bondeva, 34, Det. Evodio Calles Hendrix, 32, Det. Daniel Thomas Hersl, 47, Sgt. Wayne Earl Jenkins, 36, Det. Jemell Lamar Rayam, 36, Det. Marcus Roosevelt Taylor, 30 and Det. Maurice Kilpatrick Ward, 36 all extorted up to $200,000 from victims, along with stealing guns and drugs, prosecutors said.
Last month, the city of Baltimore and the Justice Department agreed on a consent decree, which calls for police reforms. It has yet to be approved by a federal judge.
“This is not about aggressive policing, it is about a criminal conspiracy. 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” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.
Each face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for conspiracy and for racketeering.
The majority of the incidents in question occurred while the Baltimore Police Department was facing a U.S. Justice Department civil rights investigation for the 2015 police-involved death of Freddie Gray that plunged the city into turmoil.
Marilyn J. Mosby, Baltimore State’s Attorney said the involvement of federal authorities “confirms the inherent difficulties with the BPD investigating itself,” and warned the indictment would have “pervasive implications on numerous active investigations and pending cases.”