The tables have turned after multiple groups of police officers were arrested for criminal activity along the East Coast in recent weeks. First, a dozen officers were found to be involved in an interstate drug ring that ran between Virginia and North Carolina, known as "Operation Rockfish." The officers trafficked cocaine and heroin up and down I-95 for a year and a half before the operation was busted. Northampton County North Carolina was rocked by the breach in trust of its law enforcement.
Now, seven officers part of the Baltimore Gun Task Force have been found engaging in blatant criminal activity, with federal prosecutors describing their conduct as similar to that of “1930's gangsters.” Innocent citizens and criminals (such as drug dealers) alike were victimized by the officer's activities. The officers were identified as detectives Momodu Gondo, Evodio Hendrix, Daniel Hersl, Wayne Jenkins, Jemell Rayam, Marcus Taylor and Maurice Ward.
The seven would allegedly make bogus and unjustified stops, turn off their police body cameras to falsify search warrants, and steal drugs and money from those they stopped. False police reports were filed; others in the police department would help cover their criminal activity. The amount of money stolen from victims ranged from $200 to $250,000. Many victims were not guilty of any crime whatsoever. Out of fear for their lives and safety, victims pleaded guilty to the crimes they were accused of and did not testify out of fear for their lives.
Revelation of the scandal has rocked an already troubled police department. The department was already subject to a probe by the Department of Justice after the death of one Freddie Gray. Many were outraged when Gray was taken on a “rough ride” in the back of a police van after being arrested. He died as a result of the injuries he sustained during the ride. No officer involved was found guilty; all charges associated with the case were dismissed and the case itself was dropped.
The whole ordeal is emblematic of a massive abuse of power that caused the suffering of countless citizens. Even the taxpayer dollar suffered, as the officers received $500,000 in unjustified overtime pay. Past arrests made by the officers are now under review, countless cases are now under view to determine where false charges were made.
Law enforcement is neither precise nor faultless. Everything from procedural error to blatant police corruption can result in unfair charges for the average citizen. If you have received criminal charges in the Seattle area, you are entitled to competent and caring legal counsel to scrutinize the charges against you. Contact criminal defense attorney Steve Karimi for a free consultation of your case today.