BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A high-ranking city police officer is suspended following an investigation into one of his personal weapons.
Mike Hellgren has new details in the investigation.READ MORE: 14 Students, 1 Teacher Killed In Shooting At Texas Elementary School, Governor Says
Major Anthony Brown—a high-ranking member of Baltimore’s police force—has had his police powers taken away while the department investigates how his personal weapon wound up in the office of prominent and politically-connected businessman Nicolas Ramos, who owns Arcos restaurant in Southeast Baltimore.
According to a police report WJZ obtained, Ramos reported a .38-caliber revolver stolen after a break-in at his business offices.
He gave police the serial number and they traced it back to Major Brown.
“What police are trying to figure out now is No. 1: how did that gun end up in the possession of the business owner?” said Anthony Guglielmi, Baltimore City police spokesman. “The law behind this is extremely technical. We need to find out if everything was done accordingly.”
Under state law, if a gun is sold, there are strict reporting guidelines. Violations can carry big fines and jail time.READ MORE: Crash Between Tractor-Trailers Closes Lanes In Fort McHenry Tunnel, Person Trapped, Firefighters Union Says
But Ramos’ wife told WJZ the gun did not belong to her husband.
She said her husband felt it was his civic duty to report the gun stolen, that he and the major were long-time friends and the gun was never sold. She said no money ever exchanged hands, but the major kept it on the property and was a frequent visitor.
She told WJZ, “It’s unfortunate, and we didn’t want the gun to end up in the wrong hands.”
Major Brown headed special ops, including the Foxtrot chopper and Swat teams, and is under what’s called an administrative suspension.
“What that means is his police powers are suspended, but he’s still very much going to work and still very much involved,” Guglielmi said.
Police say the internal investigation is underway now. Results will go to the state’s attorney, who will decide whether any charges should be filed.
“It is by no means a finding of guilt,” Guglielmi said. “It’s how we handle personnel issues when you’re at senior levels of command in the agency.”MORE NEWS: Camp For Seriously Ill Children To Build Second Location On Maryland's Eastern Shore
Brown has been on the force for almost three decades.