(Update 9/2/2017) An eighth Baltimore Police Department officer member of the special unit targeting illegal weapons was indicted this week for allegedly robbing residents and filing false reports, part of an expanding federal investigation into corruption inside the unit.
The federal indictment handed down on Aug. 24 and unsealed on Wednesday charges Sergeant Thomas Allers, age 49, of Linthicum Heights, Md. with racketeering conspiracy, robbery and extortion. The indictment alleges that Allers robbed innocent residents, and filed false reports and search warrants. In all, Allers is accused of stealing approximately $90,000 when he supervised the seven-member Gun Trace Task Force between 2014 and 2016.
As with the other seven officers previously charged this year, Allers is alleged to have committed a string of brazen robberies that victimized innocent residents, in one case taking $200 in birthday money from a teen and $900 in cash intended for rent and $300 for utilities from her mother.
In 2015, Allers allegedly executed a search warrant at a Baltimore residence where he discovered $6,000 cash, proceeds from the sale and re-sale of used cars. According to the indictment, Allers stole $5,700 of the cash and reported just $300 on his official police report. In a similar raid in 2016, Allers is alleged to have stolen $10,000 from man who was later murdered for not being able to pay a drug debt.
The additional charges paint a broad and expansive picture of a rogue unit in which officers planned numerous robberies, stole drugs, extortedmoney, and falsified time sheets to fraudulently obtain overtime. But the indictment of Allers, who served as the unit’s officer in charge, suggests that supervisors not only knew about the unit’s illegal activities but participated in them.
Many of the crimes allegedly committed by Allers and theother officers occurred as the Department of Justice was conducting a broad investigation of the Baltimore Police Department, one which concluded that the department systemically violated the constitutional rights of African-Americans.
Indicted earlier this year for robbery, drug dealing, racketeering and overtime fraud were: Detective Momodu Gondo, 34; Detective Evodio Hendrix, 32; Detective Daniel Thomas Hersl, 48; Sergeant Wayne Earl Jenkins, 37; Detective Jemell Rayam, 36; Detective Marcus Roosevelt Taylor, 30; and Detective Maurice Ward, 36. Hersl, Jenkins, and Taylor received additional charges of robbery and extortion in July.
Hendrix and Ward have pleaded guilty and are cooperating with federal investigators.
“The Baltimore Police Department remains dedicated to constitutional policing,” Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said in a statement. “I condemn any and all criminal activity that erodes our trust with the community.”