Baltimore man pleads guilty to helping Gun Trace Task Force officer carry out robbery

A cousin of a corrupt Baltimore police officer pleaded guilty Thursday to helping the officer carry out a $20,000 robbery of a South Baltimore pigeon store owner in 2014.

David Kendall Rahim of Baltimore admitted that he donned tactical gear and carried out the robbery at the direction of Detective Jemell Rayam, who has pleaded guilty to committing a string of robberies over a number of years.

Rayam is one of eight members of the Police Department’s elite Gun Trace Task Force indicted by federal authorities this year for robbing citizens, creating false police reports and taking unearned overtime pay.

Rayam and his longtime partner, Momodu Gondo, have both pleaded guilty to federal racketeering charges and recently testified at the trial of a drug crew they aided.

Rahim is a relative of Rayam’s and worked as an autopsy technician with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the office confirmed.

Rahim and Thomas Robert Finnegan, an associate of Rayam’s who also was not a member of the police force, were charged separately with the 2014 robbery of the pet store owner.

According to the indictment, officers from the gun unit searched a pigeon store in the Brooklyn neighborhood in June 2014 and learned the owner had $20,000 in cash, which he intended to use to pay off a tax debt. Police did not locate anything illegal in the store.

Rayam moved to steal the money during the search, but another officer stopped him, wary that the victims would report the theft to the Police Department.

Prosecutors said Rayam then used a police database to find the home of the pigeon store owners, and reached out to Rahim and Finnegan.

Rayam provided them police tactical gear, told them to impersonate officers and parked outside the store owner's home to intercept any police. Finnegan and Rahim removed a security camera and entered the home, where Finnegan pointed a gun at one of the occupants.

The three split the proceeds afterwards.

Finnegan has not entered a plea to the charges he faces.

jfenton@baltsun.com

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