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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maryland

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Ninth Police Officer Indicted In Expanding Federal Corruption Investigation

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          Contact ELIZABETH MORSE

www.justice.gov/usao/md                                                     at (410) 209-4885

 

Baltimore, Maryland – Former Baltimore City Police Officer and current Philadelphia Police Officer Eric Troy Snell, age 33, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was arrested today for Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute Heroin and Cocaine.  The charges relate to the illegal activities of former members of the Baltimore Police Department’s Gun Trace Task Force (GTTF).  

 

The indictment was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Stephen M. Schenning and Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office.

According to court documents, Officer Snell attended the Baltimore City Police Department training academy and was a Baltimore police officer until March 2008. While he was in the academy, Snell met co-conspirator Detective Jemell Rayam. Snell became an officer in the Philadelphia Police Department in September of 2014 and at the time of the indictment, Snell was assigned to the 35th District in the Philadelphia Police Department.

According to the indictment, between October 2016 and June 2017, while Snell was with the Philadelphia Police Department and Rayam was with the Baltimore Police Department, Snell and Rayam discussed and planned with each other the sale of illegal narcotics, including cocaine and heroin that had been obtained or seized by members of the Gun Trace Task Force in Baltimore.

The indictment alleges that or about October 3, 2016, Sergeant Wayne Jenkins, Rayam and detectives in the GTTF, engaged in a high-speed police chase where the driver of the vehicle threw over 9 ounces of cocaine out of the window of his vehicle before crashing his vehicle near Mondawmin Mall in Baltimore, Maryland.  Near the scene of the crash, the officers retrieved the cocaine and Jenkins told Rayam to sell most of the cocaine and give Jenkins proceeds of the sale, which Rayam agreed to do.  On or about October 18, 2016, after learning from Rayam that he had cocaine, Snell asked Rayam to provide him with the stolen cocaine instead of submitting it as evidence to the Baltimore Police Department.  Rayam agreed to do so.

Two days later, Rayam traveled to Philadelphia, and met with Snell at his residence.  Rayam provided the cocaine to Snell and who arrangements to meet with his brother, who was going to sell the drugs.  According to the indictment, Snell, his brother, and Rayam met and Snell provided his brother with the cocaine.  The three men discussed the price at which the cocaine would be sold and the amount of money that Snell and Rayam would receive from the sales.

In addition to the cocaine, court documents allege that Snell also agreed to sell 80 grams of heroin that Rayam had received from Jenkins. 

According to the indictment, Snell deposited thousands of dollars in cash in Rayam’s bank account from the sales of illegal drugs, including counter deposits on October 28, 2016 and November 9, 2016.  Snell also paid Rayam cash from the sales of illegal drugs when he met him on November 11, 2016.

Following Rayam’s arrest, on June 26, 2017, Snell spoke with Rayam on the recorded jail phone system where Rayam was detained.  Snell assured Rayam that his brother had not said anything about their illegal drug trafficking and instructed Rayam to “say less” on the recorded jail phones so that their illegal drug trafficking operation would not be detected by law enforcement.  Snell told Rayam to “stand tall” and said he would “keep an eye” on Rayam’s kids, which Rayam perceived as a threat to harm Rayam’s children if Rayam told authorities about Snell’s illegal drug trafficking.

Snell was arrested this morning at his residence in Philadelphia and had his initial appearance today in federal district court in Baltimore. Snell will remain detained until his detention hearing on November 17, 2017 at 2:15 p.m.

 

Rayam has pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and admitted to multiple robberies, drug trafficking, and overtime fraud. Jenkins has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled for trial beginning January 16, 2018. Snell faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. 

 

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. 

 

Acting United States Attorney Stephen M. Schenning commended the FBI for its work in the investigation. Mr. Schenning thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Derek E. Hines and Leo J. Wise, who are prosecuting these Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force cases.

 

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Updated November 14, 2017