By Michelle Richardson
Special to the AFRO

Recently, former Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa was released from a federal prison and was transferred to a transitional facility for inmates preparing to reenter society. 

Known as “community custody”, the last step in De Sousa’s sentencing is a halfway house for nonviolent offenders. 

The supervised facility has a strict alcohol and drug policy, a curfew, as well as mandatory programs and training sessions for its residents.

Former Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa was recently released from federal prison where he had been incarcerated on tax charges. (AFRO Photo)

De Sousa, appointed by former Mayor Catherine Pugh as the city’s top cop in 2018, pled guilty in April 2018 to three counts of failing to file federal tax returns. 

U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake sentenced him to 10 months in federal prison and 100 hours of community service, along with one year of supervised release.

Blake said she wanted to deter other tax-cheating cops.

“This is a sad day for you. It’s also a sad day for our city,” Blake told De Sousa when she sentenced him. “This city needs a police force it can trust.”

De Sousa defrauded the state and federal government of $67,587. He has since cashed in his retirement savings and paid all the money back, according to his attorney. 

During De Sousa’s tenure as commissioner in 2018, Baltimore ultimately experienced the fourth year in a row of 300 or more homicides, since the Uprising of 2015. 

Pugh appointed De Sousa January of 2018, after firing police commissioner Kevin Davis.

De Sousa resigned 4 months later amid the tax charges. Pugh defended her decision to appoint him that same year saying “When I hired Commissioner De Sousa, I knew I hired the right person,” she said. “Now I can’t stand up for people’s personal lives, but I can tell you, no one was more strategic or focused.”

De Sousa also admitted to deliberately claiming tax deductions for a house he didn’t own, a business he didn’t run and job expenses he didn’t incur.

Pugh, who resigned from her position in May, awaits sentencing herself after pleading guilty in November to conspiracy and tax evasion for selling her “Healthy Holly” childrens books to clients with business before the city.