BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Baltimore Police Department sergeant who ran a corrupt gun unit has pleaded guilty in the case.
Sergeant Thomas Allers, 49, pleaded guilty to charges of racketeering conspiracy and racketeering offenses, including nine robberies. His sentencing is set for February 23, 2018, where he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
On Tuesday, Allers’ lawyer said that he would not testify against his fellow officers as a government witness.
Allers, who joined the Baltimore Police Department on July 22, 1996, was the officer-in-charge of the Gun Trace Task Force (GTTF) beginning in July 2013. He became the fifth Baltimore PD officers to plead guilty in this case.
He admitted to using the power of his badge to steal almost $100,000 from citizens during robberies in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Anne Arundel County.
His lawyer, Gary Proctor, spoke only to WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren after the plea Wednesday.
“My client will not be testifying for or against any other officers,” Proctor said. “They have their own lawyers, and they have their own fights to make.”
Allers admitted to being involved in nine robberies. He also signed false reports or did not make reports at all on the incidents. Prosecutors believe Allers knew his unit was under investigation and tipped off other officers.
The first of the robberies in the guilty plea dates back to March 11, 2014. The last was May 28, 2016. Sgt. Allers headed the GTTF for almost three years and was replaced by Sergeant Wayne Jenkins.
Jenkins was charged last week with planting heroin on two men in 2010 and tricking Detective Sean Suiter into finding the drugs. Suiter was murdered on November 15th–less than 24 hours before he was to testify as a witness in the case.
Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said Wednesday morning he still has not received a response from the FBI to his request that the agency take over the investigation into Suiter’s killing, although he has said there’s no evidence linking it to his testimony.
Mayor Pugh said during a Wednesday press conference that she has regular conversations with Suiter’s widow. “What we want is the right conclusion to whatever happened,” Pugh said.
Prosecutors allege one of Sergeant Allers’ robbery victims was murdered because he could not repay a drug debt. Other victims were restrained in their homes, and Allers committed the robberies while in possession of his department service weapon. That means he could face a tougher punishment at sentencing. The maximum amount of time he could serve in federal prison is 20 years.
Proctor plans to call character witnesses.
“My client was very anxious to accept responsibility for his conduct– for what he did–and that’s why he went to federal court today.”
Federal prosecutors say the victims of the robberies may speak or provide statements at sentencing.
WJZ asked Sergeant Allers’ family members for comment as they left the courthouse. They declined.
Allers remains in federal custody while he awaits sentencing.