Baltimore City Police Officer Charged with Theft
Undercover Operation Conducted by FBI, Baltimore Police Department and Other Agencies
Baltimore, Maryland – Baltimore City Police officer Maurice Lamar Jeffers, age 47, of Savage, Maryland, has been charged by criminal complaint with theft of government property and stealing property as a federal officer. The criminal complaint was returned on Friday, May 8, 2015 and unsealed today.
The criminal complaint 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.
“The affidavit alleges that agents carried out an undercover operation and obtained a video recording of the defendant stealing cash while he believed he was executing a search warrant,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “I want to thank the officers of the Baltimore Police Department and other agencies that assisted in this investigation.”
According to the criminal complaint, Jeffers has been a sworn member of the Baltimore Police Department for the last 12 years, and is currently assigned as a Task Force Officer (TFO) to the U.S. Marshals’ Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force (CARFTF). As a TFO, Jeffers received special deputation to execute arrest and search warrants supporting the federal task force. Jeffers is responsible for locating and arresting offenders who have active local and federal arrest warrants and assisting in locating individuals for other jurisdictions and agencies upon request.
The criminal complaint alleges that Jeffers stole approximately $3,000 on March 10, 2015, while Jeffers was on official business as a TFO for CARFTF. According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, law enforcement conducted a covert operation in which agents rented a hotel room and set up surveillance equipment. Law enforcement also placed $3,200 in cash throughout the room – a portion of the money was placed in pain view and the rest was hidden.
At the direction of law enforcement involved in this investigation, Jeffers and other members of CARFTF were told that the subject of a fictitious drug investigation was staying at the hotel room. Jeffers and CARFTF members were directed to secure the subject and the hotel room so that law enforcement could later execute a search warrant in the subject’s hotel room.
According to the criminal complaint, Jeffers and another CARFTF member went to the hotel room to secure it. After Jeffers and the other TFO conducted a security check of the room the other TFO left to report that the room was secured. According to the criminal complaint, after the other TFO left, audio and video surveillance captured Jeffers searching the room and placing the money into his pants pockets. After Jeffers and the other CARFTF members left, law enforcement involved in this investigation conducted an inventory of the hotel room. As seen on the video, the prerecorded funds that had been planted in the hotel room – totaling $3,000 – were gone. The stolen cash was not submitted as evidence, as it should have been if it had been lawfully seized.
Jeffers faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for each of the two theft counts. An initial appearance was held on May 8, 2015, in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. Jeffers was released under the supervision of U.S. Pretrial Services.
A criminal complaint is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by criminal complaint is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the Baltimore FBI Public Corruption Task Force, which includes Agents and law enforcement officers from the IRS, the Baltimore Police Department, the Prince George’s County Police Department and the Baltimore FBI, for their work in the investigation, and recognized the U.S. Marshals Service for its assistance. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorney David I. Sharfstein, who is prosecuting the case.