BALTIMORE, Md. - A federal grand jury on Jan. 17 indicted Baltimore police officer Kendell Richburg, 36, on gun and drug conspiracy charges, federal prosecutors and Baltimore police officials announced Jan. 18.
According to federal prosecutors, Richburg, who lives in Baltimore, was involved in a conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana between January 2011 and October 2012. Prosecutors also alleged that Richburg was in illegal possession of two semi-automatic hand guns while engaged in drug trafficking.
“Corrupt police officers insult the many honorable officers who serve with integrity,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “Any officers who may be tempted to abuse their authority should be on notice that we have the power and obligation to hold them accountable.”
The charges grew out of an investigation by Baltimore Police internal affairs investigators and the FBI. The grand jury’s findings were characterized as “deeply disturbing and represent an egregious violation of the sacred trust citizens place in police officers,” Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts said. “This joint investigation underscores the BPDs unwavering commitment to accountability. Our promise to the people of Baltimore is that we will continue to work diligently to ensure every member of this Baltimore Police Department deserves the respect and trust of our community.”
The three-count indictment comes after Richburg was suspended in November 2012 amid an FBI investigation. His identity was not revealed at the time. The department said then only that a plainclothes investigator was suspended during an FBI probe.
If convicted, Richburg faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the drug conspiracy, 10 years in prison for the firearms conspiracy count; and a minimum mandatory sentence of five years in prison and a maximum of life in prison for use of firearms in relation to a drug trafficking crime. After appearing at a hearing in U.S. District Court in Baltimore Jan. 18, Richburg was held in police custody pending a detention hearing scheduled for Jan. 22.