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Former Baltimore Police Officer Sentenced To 5 Years In Prison For Protecting A Heroin Dealer And Illegally Accessing Police Databases In Fraudulent Tax Refund Scheme

Police Officer Heads to Federal Prison for “Disgraceful Violation of Public Trust”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 6, 2014

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr. sentenced former Baltimore Police officer Ashley Roane, age 26, of Pikesville, Maryland, today to five years in prison for extortion and aggravated identity theft.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Commissioner Anthony W. Batts of the Baltimore Police Department.

“Ashley Roane sold her police powers for a few thousand dollars, in a disgraceful violation of the public trust,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “Ms. Roane agreed to provide armed security for drug deals while in uniform in her patrol car, and to check a police database to identify informants. She also used a police database to obtain names, birth dates, and Social Security numbers of arrestees that could be used in a scheme to obtain fraudulent tax refunds from the IRS.”

According to her plea agreement, beginning in the fall of 2012, Roane and her roommate Erica Hughes engaged in a scheme whereby they provided the names and social security numbers of persons arrested by the Baltimore Police to an individual who could file false tax returns to obtain fraudulent tax refunds. Roane obtained the personal information of more than 30 people from law enforcement databases through her position as a Baltimore Police officer. Roane and Hughes provided the information to the individual, who they believed worked as a tax preparer, in addition to being a large scale heroin trafficker in Baltimore.

On April 4, 2013, FBI agents watched as Roane arrived in her marked police patrol car for a meeting with the individual to obtain a fraudulent tax refund payment. As directed by the individual, Roane retrieved an envelope containing $2,500 from the source’s vehicle. At a recorded meeting on April 24, 2013, the individual went to Roane’s house and gave Roane an additional $1,500 that the FBI had provided to the individual, purported to be a fraudulent tax refund.

Roane admitted that she also provided protection for the individual’s purported drug trafficking. For example, on March 31, 2013, Roane told the individual that she had performed an unauthorized criminal check of one of the individual’s alleged associates, to determine if the associate was a police informant, and the individual was “clean.” After Roane agreed to provide protection during drug transactions, on April 30, 2013, the FBI set up a controlled purchase by the individual of white powder which resembled a kilogram of heroin. The FBI watched while Roane, in uniform, armed with her service gun, and in a marked police car, provided protection while the individual purportedly retrieved heroin from a vehicle provided by the FBI. Shortly thereafter, at a prearranged meeting, the individual paid Roane $500 for her protection. Roane agreed to provide such protection again in a future transaction involving multiple kilograms of heroin.

During the course of the schemes, Roane and Hughes received $5,250 from the individual in what Roane believed was proceeds of fraudulent tax refunds. Roane also received a total of $1,000 in exchange for providing protection to the individual during what Roane believed were kilogram-level heroin transactions.

Co-defendant Erica Hughes, age 26, of Pikesville, previously pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft and was sentenced to two years in prison.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the FBI and Baltimore Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter M. Nothstein, who prosecuted the case.

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