BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A judge sentenced disgraced former Baltimore Police detective Jemell Rayam to 12 years in federal prison for his crimes with a corrupt gun unit.
Rayam committed 15 robberies over eight years, and prosecutors say he stole $79,000.
“It’s never too late to do the right thing,“ Rayam said in court prior to learning his fate. “How can I ask Your Honor for mercy when I took an oath? I can’t ask for mercy, but I can ask that you see a man who admits what he did. I’m sorry to the city of Baltimore and I’m ready to face my consequences.“
Rayam said he “put a stain on the Baltimore Police Department.”
He wept when speaking to his father, John Rayam, who is a retired police officer in Newark, New Jersey. “I was just ashamed of myself… but through all of this, I realize love can conquer all.”
The U.S. Attorney’s office noted, “Rayam schemed to steal money, property, and narcotics by detaining victims, entering residences, conducting traffic stops, and swearing out false search warrant affidavits. In addition, Rayam prepared and submitted false official incident and arrest reports, reports of property seized from arrestees, and charging documents. The false reports concealed the fact that Rayam and his co-conspirators had stolen money, property, and narcotics from individuals.”
In one robbery, he held a gun to a woman’s head and threatened to kill her according to prosecutors.
The sentence is below the recommended guidelines but the 12 years aligns with what prosecutors requested. Rayam’s lawyer asked for three years in prison.
“This case exposed crime and corruption being committed by those sworn to uphold the law and protect citizens,” U.S. Attorney Robert Hur said in a statement. “We will prosecute criminals whether they wear a badge or not.”
Rayam’s lawyer Dennis Boyle told the judge his client’s corruption started when he was a rookie on the force—and was asked to omit information in a police report. “I think he found himself in culture—I don’t mean to say bad things about the BPD—but he ran into some individuals and was weak and took the easy way out,“ Boyle said.