BALTIMORE (WJZ) — One of the officers convicted in the Gun Trace Task Force case says he has information about the late Baltimore Detective Sean Suiter.
WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren exclusively obtained the letter written by former Detective Daniel Hersl, who is currently imprisoned.
For the first time publicly, Hersl addresses what he knows about the Suiter case.
— Mike Hellgren (@HellgrenWJZ) November 25, 2019
Hersl writes that Suiter had repeated contact with two people on Bennett Place—the area where Suiter was shot and killed—as well as another convicted member of the Gun Trace Task Force.
The letter is one of almost 20 that Hersl has sent to the Maryland Commission to Restore Trust In Policing.
He writes, “I would like to share my concerns with the commission about the Suiter case.”
Hersl says the month before his arrest in 2017, police transferred him from the GTTF to the Citywide Shooting Unit along with Momodu Gondo. Gondo later admitted to protecting a Baltimore heroin operation, in addition to other crimes with the Gun Trace Task Force.
Hersl writes, “During my time there I realized that Gondo was familiar with Suiter who worked a floor below Gondo and me. Suiter would come up and meet with Gondo frequently. I am aware that both Suiter and Gondo were acquaintances with two individuals that resided in the neighborhood of Bennett Place.”
Hersl says he even saw Suiter, Gondo and the two unknown people meet “a few times” at police headquarters downtown.
After Suiter’s death, Hersl says he wrote what he knew in a letter to the Baltimore Police Department, and it was given to his lawyer at the time. Hersl has no idea if it was ever passed on to police—and says he has never been contacted about it. “Remember, at the time, I had been in solitary confinement for at least two months and my cognitive ability was somewhat compromised,” he writes.
“If Gondo was forthcoming with the identity of the two individuals, investigators would have a lead to persons living in the Bennett Place neighborhood who had contact with Sean Suitor [sic]. No investigators have ever contacted me to elaborate on my letter. Being out of solitary confinement, I may be able to clarify and/or expand on its contents. However, I need a copy of the letter and be asked to re-evaluate it.”
Hersl adds: “I want to make it clear: I have no reason to believe Sean Sutter was a dirty cop.”
Suiter was set to testify in the GTTF investigation the day after his death. “If Sean Suiter was going to testify against Momodo Gondo,” Hersl writes, just being on Bennett Place put him in an “extremely dangerous” situation.
Detective Suiter’s family says he was murdered. Police believe his death was a suicide. However, last week, the commissioner told WJZ the case is ongoing.
Hersl went from receiving a medal of honor in the BPD to now serving an 18-year federal prison sentence. He’s currently writing these letters without legal representation.
He cautions that he does not have information on what happened to Suiter the day he was killed.