Former Baltimore City Police Gun Trace Task Force Detective Sentenced To 12 Years In Federal Prison For Racketeering Conspiracy
Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake today sentenced former Baltimore Police Detective Jemell Lamar Rayam, age 38, of Owings Mills, Maryland, to 12 years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for a racketeering conspiracy, including multiple robberies, and overtime fraud.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur and Acting Special Agent in Charge Jennifer L. Moore of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office.
“This case exposed crime and corruption being committed by those sworn to uphold the law and protect citizens,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur. “We will prosecute criminals whether they wear a badge or not.”
Rayam joined the Baltimore Police Department on July 12, 2005 and was later assigned to the Gun Trace Task Force (GTTF), a division of the Baltimore Police Department. According to his plea agreement, Rayam schemed to steal money, property, and narcotics by detaining victims, entering residences, conducting traffic stops, and swearing out false search warrant affidavits. In addition, Rayam 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 Rayam and his co-conspirators had stolen money, property, and narcotics from individuals.
According to his plea agreement, beginning in 2009, Rayam robbed civilians he detained and in some cases arrested and stole money and drugs from them. Rayam shared the proceeds with co-defendants Momodu Gondo, Wayne Jenkins, Daniel Hersl, Marcus Taylor, and others, and on other occasions, he kept all of the proceeds for himself. Rayam also sold, through associates of his, drugs that Jenkins stole from detainees and arrestees, gave them to Rayam, and split the proceeds of those sales with his co-defendant.
Rayam participated in 15 robberies from June 2014 through October 2016. Rayam admitted that he was armed with his BPD service firearm during the robberies, that individual victims of the robberies were physically restrained to facilitate the commission of the offense, and that he authored false and fraudulent incident reports and other official documents in some cases in order to conceal his criminal conduct and otherwise obstruct justice.
Rayam also robbed detainees and arrestees with another police officer, who was not a member of the GTTF. Rayam and this other police officer would falsely represent that they had a search warrant, when they did not, in order to gain access to someone’s home and would then steal money and other things of value. In addition, Rayam had an associate who would inform him when a drug dealer had a significant amount of cash in his home and when the associate knew that the drug dealer would not be in the home. Rayam would then rob the drug dealer’s home with the assistance of other associates of his who were not police officers.
On October 5, 2016, Rayam and his co-conspirators robbed a drug dealer after he and Gondo placed a tracking device on the victim’s car without court authorization so that they could rob his apartment when he was not home. Rayam and Glen Kyle Wells entered the victim’s apartment. Rayam was wearing a ski mask and was armed with a BPD-issued firearm. Rayam and Wells stole a Rolex watch, a firearm, $12,000 to $14,000 in cash, and at least 800 grams of heroin. After the robbery, Rayam and his co-conspirators split the money they had stolen. Wells took the drugs and money, and Wells sold some of the drugs and gave Rayam a portion of the proceeds. Wells then gave Rayam a quantity of drugs that he had been unable to sell, which Rayam in turn sold through an associate.
On June 27, 2014, Rayam and his co-defendants executed a search and seizure warrant at a store that sold birdseed. No illegal contraband or firearms were found at the location. The storeowners, a married couple, had $20,000 in cash at the store that they intended to use to pay off tax liabilities they owed on two homes. Rayam later contacted two associates and agreed to rob the home of the storeowners. The associates presented themselves as police officers and stole $20,000, while Rayam remained in the car so he could intercept the police officers that responded to the incident by pretending to respond to the incident himself. Rayam split the proceeds with his associates.
Rayam admitted that on March 11, 2015, he, Gondo, former Sergeant Thomas Allers, and another person, who was not a police officer, searched a residence and discovered a large quantity of cash. Rayam took between $8,000 and $10,000 of the cash. Gondo and Allers also took some of the cash.
As detailed in his plea agreement, on July 8, 2016, Rayam and his co-defendants Hersl and Gondo detained two victims after a car stop. Rayam stole money from one of the victims. At Jenkins’s direction, Hersl, Rayam, and Gondo transported the two victims to a BPD office to interrogate them. Jenkins told his co-conspirators to treat him like he was the U.S. Attorney. After speaking with one of the individuals, Jenkins, Hersl, Gondo, and Rayam then transported both of the victims to their home and robbed them of $20,000 among themselves. Jenkins, Hersl, Rayam, and Gondo divided the $20,000. Rayam authored a false incident report to conceal the stolen money, which Jenkins approved.
According to the statement of facts agreed upon as part of Rayam’s plea, in the fall of 2016, Jenkins approached Rayam and asked him to sell drugs that Jenkins had stolen from detainees. Rayam agreed and sold the drugs Jenkins gave him and shared the proceeds with Jenkins. Jenkins maintained that Rayam owed him money for drugs that Jenkins had given him. After seizing a firearm and marijuana, Jenkins told Rayam to sell the firearm and marijuana in order to pay Jenkins the money that Jenkins believed Rayam owed him. Gondo subsequently arranged for an associate of his, who was a drug dealer, to buy the firearm and marijuana. Gondo’s associate gave Rayam money for the sale of the firearm and marijuana.
Rayam also admitted that he routinely submitted false and fraudulent individual overtime reports defrauding the Baltimore Police Department and the citizens of the State of Maryland. On these reports, Rayam falsely certified that he worked his entire regularly assigned shifts, when he did not, and that he worked additional hours for which he received overtime pay, when he had not worked all and in some cases any of those overtime hours. Rayam also admitted that he submitted false and fraudulent overtime reports on behalf of his co-defendants.
Lastly, Rayam admitted to obstructing law enforcement by alerting his co-defendants about potential investigations of their criminal conduct, coaching them to give false testimony to investigators from the Internal Investigations Division of the BPD, and turning off his body-worn cameras to avoid recording encounters with civilians.
A total of eight former members of the BPD Gun Trace Task Force were convicted for racketeering and related charges. Former Baltimore Police Sergeant Wayne Earl Jenkins, age 38, of Middle River, Maryland was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for a racketeering conspiracy, racketeering, two counts of robbery, destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in a federal investigation, and four counts of deprivation of rights under color of law. Former Detectives Daniel Thomas Hersl, age 49, of Joppa, Maryland and Marcus Roosevelt Taylor, age 32, of Glen Burnie, Maryland, were convicted after a three-week trial and were each sentenced to 18 years in federal prison, for racketeering conspiracy and racketeering offenses, including overtime fraud, and robbery. Former Sergeant Thomas Allers, age 49, of Linthicum Heights, Maryland was sentenced to fifteen years in prison, for racketeering conspiracy and racketeering offenses, including nine robberies. Former Detective Momodu Gondo, age 36, of Owings Mills, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for a racketeering conspiracy and for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin. Former Detectives Evodio Hendrix, age 34, of Randallstown, Maryland, and Maurice Kilpatrick Ward, age 39, of Middle River, were each sentenced to seven years in federal prison, after pleading guilty to a racketeering conspiracy, including several robberies and overtime fraud.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the FBI for its work in the investigation. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Leo J. Wise and Derek E. Hines, who prosecuted this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.
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