BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A cousin of one of the corrupt Baltimore Police officers charged in the Gun Trace Task Force case has been sentenced to five years behind bars.
A federal judge handed down the first prison sentence in the police scandal Friday, and it was a family affair.
David Kendall Rahim, cousin of Detective Jemell Lamar Rayam, received the sentence after pleading guilty in November to helping Rayam commit a $20,000 robbery in 2014 and one totaling more than $50,000 more than a decade ago.
“Because the defendants were police officers, they were that much more savvy and aware of the surveillance techniques, wiretaps, things of that nature,” said Derek Hines, assistant US attorney.
According to court records, police officers with the Gun Trace Task Force, including Rayam, executed a search and seizure warrant at a store that sold birdseed and pigeons on Patapsco Avenue in June 2014.
No illegal contraband or firearms were found at the location but the store owners, 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, the records say.
After the search, Rayam allegedly told another Rahim and another man who was involved about the money and they all agreed to rob the couple at their residence later that evening.
Prosecutors said Rayam supplied him and a friend with police tactical vests, while Rayam acted as the lookout as they disabled the victims’ security system and held them at gunpoint while taking their cash.
The couple reportedly provided a statement to internal affairs who never contacted them again.
It was the second time that Rayam slipped through the cracks. He was disciplined after a police investigation caught him lying about his involvement in another robbery with an officer in 2009, but was promoted and put on the elite gun unit.
Rahim’s sentence was almost half of what the federal guidelines call for — nine years — and he must provide restitution to the victims.
None of the other officers have been sentenced.
The city solicitor and state’s attorney’s office have a new policy where officers are required to disclose misconduct and internal affairs findings against them to prosecutors in a bid to stop corruption similar to what occurred with the Gun Trace Task Force.
Sentencing for another accomplice in these robberies, Thomas Finnigan, was supposed to happen Friday but it was postponed.