FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact ELIZABETH MORSE
www.justice.gov/usao/md at (410) 209-4885
Baltimore, Maryland – Detective Jemell Lamar Rayam, age 37, of Owings Mills, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to one count of racketeering conspiracy including multiple robberies, and overtime fraud.
The guilty plea 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.
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 the 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.
On March 11, 2015, Rayam, Gondo and Sergeant A, as well as Sergeant A’s son, who was not a police officer, searched a residence and discovered a large quantity of cash. Rayam, Gondo and a BPD Sergeant each took some of the cash. Rayam took between $8,000 and $10,000. Sergeant Thomas Allers has been charged in a separate indictment with Racketeering Conspiracy and Racketeering. Allers is detained pending trial.
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. Jenkins, Hersl, Rayam, and Gondo divided the $20,000. Rayam authored a false incident report to conceal the stolen money, which Jenkins approved.
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 for 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. That associate of Gondo’s gave Rayam money for the sale of the firearm and marijuana.
According to the plea agreement, 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 each another to give false testimony to investigators from the Internal Investigations Division of the BPD, and turning off his body cameras to avoid recording encounters with civilians.
Rayam faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Acting United States Attorney Stephen M. Schenning commended the FBI for its work in the investigation. Mr. Schenning thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Leo J. Wise and Derek E. Hines, who are prosecuting this Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case.