BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s one of the largest corruption cases Baltimore has seen in years, and it continues to unravel.
Three Baltimore Police Department officers who were charged months ago in a racketeering ring are now indicted on additional robbery charges.
Seven officers were initially accused of racking up false overtime, some doubling their salaries and making six figures on the city’s dime, and shaking down citizens.
This new indictment once again paints a picture of officers who had no fear, could do what they wanted and get away with it.
Three of the seven officers who were originally charged are now accused of stealing close to $300,000 in cash, even helping citizens pose as officers to carry out a robbery.
The question everyone has is how this could be done for so long with such ease?
“These officers are 1930’s gangsters as far as I’m concerned,” Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said in March, after the original indictment came down.
The new indictment alleges Sergeant Wayne Earl Jenkins, 37, of Middle River, Detective Daniel Thomas Hersl, 48, of Joppa and Detective Marcus Roosevelt Taylor, 30, of Glen Burnie, committed an additional 13 robberies, collecting $280,000 and more than two kilos of cocaine.
The details are astonishing — Jenkins accused of acting as a DEA agent, intercepting $20,000 and 20 pounds of marijuana in the middle of a drug deal at Belvedere Towers, then going to a strip club and robbing a stripper.
In 2014, the elite gun unit search a store in south Baltimore and learned the owner was carrying $200,000 in cash. Prosecutors say one detective then told two citizens about the cash, gave them tactical gear to look like police and conduct a home invasion at the store owner’s home to steal the cash. All of this, while the detective was on the lookout.
Two civilians were also indicted, accused of posing as police officers to commit the armed robbery.
Officials have said there’s more than 200 cases that hinged on the words of these officers that are now in jeopardy. Some have already had charges dropped.
The officers are facing a max sentence of 20 years in prison. All are being held until trial after a judge decided they were a risk to public safety.
Four of the officers have re-arraignments in the coming months, some are set to appear in court later in July.
The seven officers were suspended without pay, six of them initially pleaded not guilty.
The allegations prompted Mayor Catherine Pugh to order an audit of police overtime costs.