BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Federal prosecutors have charged another Baltimore police detective in connection with a BB gun planting incident from 2014.
According to the five-count indictment, Robert Hankard, 43, has been with the BPD since 2007 and was promoted to detective in 2014.
Hankard’s being indicted on federal charges related to allegations that he provided a BB gun he knew would be planted on a suspect, falsified an application for a search warrant and an arrest report in a second incident where drugs were planted on a suspect, as well as that he falsely testified to a federal grand jury in a federal investigation.
The charges stem from Sgt. W.J. striking someone with his vehicle in March 2014 and calling another officer asking for a BB gun to plant to justify his actions running the man over. The officer then planted the BB gun underneath the vehicle.
The man, known as “D.S” in the indictment, had no guns or drugs on him at the time of his arrest. He was taken from the scene of his arrest to a hospital, in custody, where drugs were recovered from him.
He was then charged with possession, use and discharge of a gas or pellet gun- for the BB gun that was planted at the scene of D.S.’s arrest and a number of drug offenses.
“D.S.” was detained until April 2014 but the charges were dismissed in 2015.
The indictment alleges that Hankard also knew drugs had been planted in a motel room in September 2015 and wrote a search warrant containing false statements.
Hankard also allegedly falsely testified before a federal grand jury by saying he had not provided the BB gun to his partner in March 2014.
Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said Hankard is on suspension with no pay.
“This is just a continuation of what has been started to make sure the people tied to the Gun Trace Task Force are held accountable,” Harrison said. “We are committed to making sure that we get to the bottom of it and that we rout it out.”
If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States, a maximum of 10 years in federal prison for conspiracy to deprive civil rights, a maximum of 20 years in federal prison for each of two counts of falsification of records in a federal investigation, and a maximum of five years in federal prison for false declarations before a grand jury.
A judge ordered Hankard be released pending trial under the supervision of U.S. Pretrial Services.