Two former Baltimore police officers pleaded guilty Friday to federal racketeering charges, admitting that they used the citizens of Baltimore as personal ATM machines by robbing them, sometimes of tens of thousands of dollars, as well as falsely billing the Baltimore Police Department for overtime.
Former Detectives Maurice Ward, 36, and Evodio Hendrix, 32, were indicted in March along with the five other members of Baltimore’s Gun Trace Task Force, the Baltimore Sun reports. The gang was accused of robbing citizens of their cash and committing massive overtime fraud.
The stolen amounts range from $200 to $200,000, CNN reports. In one case, Hendrix and Ward and another cop reportedly stole $17,000 in cash from a suspect’s house after a SWAT raid. In another instance, several officers stopped a nursing home maintenance supervisor and stole $1,500 that he was planning to use to pay his rent, according to the indictment.
According to the indictment, the seven officers schemed to steal money, property and narcotics by detaining people, entering residences, conducting traffic stops and swearing out false search warrant affidavits. They also committed “large-scale time and attendance fraud” for a year, making at least $8,000 to $10,000 per month, according to prosecutors.
Ward earned a salary of nearly $73,000 and made an additional $62,000 in overtime during the 2016 fiscal year, according to court records. Hendrix earned a salary of about $69,400 and made about $52,000 in overtime during the same period.
The others indicted are Wayne Jenkins, 37; Daniel Hersl, 48; Marcus Taylor, 30; Momodu Gondo, 34; and Jemell Rayam, 36.
“These are really robberies by people who are wearing police uniforms,” said then-Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein in March.
The case comes about seven months after the U.S. Justice Department, under then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch, and the city of Baltimore announced a consent decree mandating police reforms in Baltimore.
That followed a DOJ report that said unconstitutional practices by some of Baltimore’s officers led to disproportionate rates of stops, searches and arrests of black residents, as well as excessive use of force against juveniles and those with mental disabilities.
The other five officers included in the indictment are awaiting trial, which is scheduled for January 2018. Ward and Hendrix will be sentenced in February.