Reporting Meghan McCorkell
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — More allegations of corruption in the Baltimore City Police Department. A city officer faces federal drug, gun and identity theft charges, in what officials call an appalling breach of public trust.
Meghan McCorkell has more on how the officer was caught.
It was a confidential informant that first tipped off police that one of their own may be involved in dealing drugs.
Armed with her service weapon, her badge, in uniform and behind the wheel of her patrol car, investigators say Officer Ashley Roane was paid off to provide protection for a person she thought was a major heroin dealer.
But that person was really working for the cops.
“The affidavit sets out a scheme, whereby this officer allegedly sold her police authority and her oath in return for money from criminals,” said U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein.
Investigators say Roane helped the informant find places to deal drugs, gave them advances notice on search warrants and even used police computers to do background checks on drug associates.
“This type of corruption besmears the badge that we so proudly wear,” said Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez, Baltimore Police Department.
And it doesn’t stop at drugs. Investigators say Officer Roane and her roommate at her Pikesville townhome were also involved in an elaborate identity theft scheme.
The FBI says the officer tapped into police databases, stealing the names, social security numbers and dates of birth of more than 30 victims.
She gave the information to the informant to file fraudulent tax returns so they could pocket other people’s refunds.
“The Baltimore City Police Department will seek to root out, corruption within its rank. We will not stop,” Rodriguez said.
Officer Ashley Roane is now behind bars. She will face a judge on Monday.
Roane has been a city police officer for the past five years. If she is convicted, she will face a minimum of 17 years in federal prison.
Roane’s roommate, 25-year-old Erica Hughes, has also been arrested and charged with aggravated identity theft.