Seven Baltimore City Police Officers Arrested for Abusing Power in Federal Racketeering Conspiracy
Officers Allegedly Robbed Victims, Filed False Affidavits and Made Fraudulent Overtime Claims; One Officer Also Charged in Separate Six-Defendant Drug Conspiracy Indictment
“Criminals Who Work in Police Agencies Unfairly Tarnish Honorable Officers”
Baltimore, Maryland – Federal agents arrested seven Baltimore City Police Department (BPD) officers today for a racketeering conspiracy and racketeering offenses, including robbery, extortion, and overtime fraud. The indictment was returned on February 23, 2017, and unsealed today following the execution of arrest and search warrants. One of the officers also was charged in a separate drug conspiracy indictment, also unsealed today.
The indictments were announced by Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Assistant Special Agent in Charge Don A. Hibbert of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office; and Commissioner Kevin Davis of the Baltimore Police Department.
“This is not about aggressive policing, it is about a criminal conspiracy,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “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.”
“As evidenced by these indictments the FBI will continue to make rooting out corruption at all levels one of its top criminal priorities,” said Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson, FBI Baltimore Field Office. “Coupled with strong leadership by Commissioner Davis and his department, this investigation has dismantled a group of police officers who were besmirching the good name of the Baltimore City Police Department.”
“The police officers charged today with crimes that erode trust with our community have disgraced the Baltimore Police Department and our profession," said Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis. "We will not shy away from accountability, as our community and the men and women who serve our City every day with pride and integrity deserve nothing less. Our investigative partnership with the FBI will continue as we strive to improve. Reform isn't always a pretty thing to watch unfold, but it's necessary in our journey toward a police department our City deserves."
The officers charged in the racketeering indictment are:
Detective Momodu Bondeva Kenton Gondo, a/k/a GMoney and Mike, age 34, of
Owings Mills, Maryland;
Detective Evodio Calles Hendrix, age 32, of Randallstown, Maryland;
Detective Daniel Thomas Hersl, age 47, of Joppa, Maryland;
Sergeant Wayne Earl Jenkins, age 36, of Middle River, Maryland;
Detective Jemell Lamar Rayam, age 36, of Owings Mills;
Detective Marcus Roosevelt Taylor, age 30, of Glen Burnie; and
Detective Maurice Kilpatrick Ward, age 36, of Middle River.
A separate indictment alleges that Detective Gondo joined a drug-dealing conspiracy. In addition to Gondo, the other indictment charges:
Antonio Shropshire, a/k/a Brill, B, and Tony, age 31, of Baltimore;
Omari Thomas, a/k/a Lil’ Bril, Lil B, and Chewy, age 25, of Middle River;
Antoine Washington, a/k/a Twan, age 27, of Baltimore;
Alexander Campbell, a/k/a Munch, age 28, of Baltimore; and
Glen Kyle Wells, a/k/a Lou, and Kyle, age 31, of Baltimore.
The racketeering indictment alleges that the police officers stole money, property and narcotics from victims, some of whom had not committed crimes; swore out false affidavits; submitted false official incident reports; and engaged in large-scale time and attendance fraud.
Count One, racketeering conspiracy, alleges robbery and extortion violations committed by the defendants in 2015 and 2016 when they were officers in the police department’s Gun Trace Task Force, a specialized unit created to investigate firearms crimes.
Count Two, a substantive racketeering charge, alleges those crimes as well as several incidents of robbery and extortion committed by five of the seven defendants beginning in 2015, before they joined the task force. Four of the defendants previously worked together in another police unit; a fifth defendant was working in a separate unit during the earlier incidents.
In some cases, there was no evidence of criminal conduct by the victims; the officers stole money that had been earned lawfully. In other instances, narcotics and firearms were recovered from arrestees. In several instances, the defendants did not file any police reports. The amounts stolen ranged from $200 to $200,000.
According to the indictment, the defendants schemed to steal money, property, and narcotics by detaining victims, entering residences, conducting traffic stops, and swearing out false search warrant affidavits. In addition, the defendants allegedly 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 the officers had stolen money, property and narcotics from individuals.
The indictment alleges that the defendants obstructed law enforcement by alerting each other about potential investigations of their criminal conduct, coaching one another to give false testimony to investigators from the Internal Investigations Division of the BPD, and turning off their body cameras to avoid recording encounters with civilians. Finally, the indictment alleges that the defendants defrauded the BPD and the State of Maryland by submitting false time and attendance records in order to obtain salary and overtime payments for times when the defendants did not work.
For example, according to the indictment, on July 8, 2016, Rayam submitted an affidavit for a search warrant which falsely stated that he, Jenkins and Gondo had conducted a full day of surveillance at the residence of two victims. Later that day, Rayam, Gondo and Hersl conducted a traffic stop of the victims during which Rayam allegedly stole $3,400 in cash. Rayam, Gondo and Hersl then transported the victims to a BPD off-site facility. In a telephone call, Jenkins told Gondo that he would meet them at the facility and that they should introduce Jenkins as the U.S. Attorney. When Jenkins arrived, he told one of the victims that he was a federal officer. Jenkins and Rayam asked the victim if he had any money in his residence, and the victim said he had $70,000 in cash. Jenkins, Rayam, Gondo and Hersl then transported the victims back to their home. In the master bedroom closet, the officers located two heat sealed bundles – one containing $50,000 and the other containing $20,000 in $100 bills. Jenkins, Rayam, Gondo and Hersl stole the $20,000 bundle. Gondo and Rayam later argued about how to divide the stolen money. On July 11, 2016, Gondo deposited $8,000 in cash into his checking account.
Three days after the robbery, on July 11, 2016, Jenkins went on vacation with his family in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, staying until July 16, 2016. The indictment alleges that Jenkins falsely claimed he worked overtime on five of the six days he was on vacation. That same week, Gondo called Rayam and said that working for the BPD was “easy money” and that “one hour can be eight hours,” referring to working for one hour and then claiming eight hours on official time and attendance records.
In another episode alleged in the Indictment, on September 7, 2016, Rayam described to Gondo how he had told Jenkins that he only “taxed” a detainee a “little bit,” referring to stealing some but not all of the detainee’s drug proceeds. Rayam said that they had not arrested the victim, so he “won’t say nothing.” Rayam told Gondo that he had to give Wayne Jenkins $100 of the money stolen from the victim. The victim was not charged.
In a separate seven-count indictment, Gondo, Shropshire, Thomas, Washington, Campbell and Wells are charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin as part of the Shropshire drug trafficking organization (DTO). Washington is charged with possession with intent to distribute and distribution of heroin resulting in death; Shropshire, Gondo, and Campbell are charged with possession with intent to distribute heroin; and Shropshire is also charged with possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine. According to the indictment, the conspirators primarily distributed heroin near the Alameda Shopping Center in Baltimore.
In one telephone call, Detective Gondo allegedly said, “I sell drugs.” In addition to selling heroin, Gondo provided sensitive law enforcement information to other conspirators in order to help the DTO and protect his co-conspirators. For example, Gondo helped Shropshire get rid of a GPS tracking device that had been placed on his vehicle by DEA. Gondo also advised Wells about law enforcement operations in order to protect Wells from being arrested.
Anyone who believes they may have information about these cases is urged to call 1-800-CALL FBI (1-800-225-5324).
The seven defendants charged in the racketeering conspiracy each face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the conspiracy and for racketeering. The defendants are expected to have an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Baltimore later today.
Shropshire, Washington, and Campbell each face a mandatory minimum of 10 years and up to life in prison for conspiracy to distribute at least one kilogram of heroin. Gondo, Wells and Thomas each face a mandatory five years and up to 40 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute at least 100 grams of heroin. Washington faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for distribution of heroin resulting in death. Shropshire, Gondo, and Campbell also face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine.
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.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI and Baltimore Police Department for their work in both investigations, and the DEA for its work in the drug investigation. U.S. Attorney Rosenstein also recognized the Baltimore County Police Department and Harford County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in the racketeering case. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Leo J. Wise and Derek E. Hines, who are prosecuting these Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force cases.