A federal court judge ruled Thursday that Baltimore Police Officer Daniel Redd, who was indicted last month on drug conspiracy and firearms charges, can be released from detention pending trial despite having confessed to investigators.

He could be released as soon as Friday to his mother's custody under electronic home monitoring and can't leave the house except for doctor's appointments and court-related meetings.

The order will be stayed, however, so Assistant U.S. Attorney James Wallner can seek an appeal Friday. He called the evidence against Redd "overwhelming" and described the officer's alleged crimes — which include conducting and overseeing heroin transactions while he was in uniform and carrying his service weapon — "brazen and bold."

Wallner said Redd, who worked out of Baltimore's Northwest District headquarters, admitted after his arrest last month to participating in three drug transactions, which the prosecutor characterized as a "tantamount confession." Redd's lawyer did not address that assertion.

"He should be treated like any other armed drug dealer that comes before" the court, Wallner said.

But U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephanie Gallagher found that Redd carried a gun because he was a police officer, not because he may also have been a drug dealer.

"My job is not to determine whether [there has been] a significant breach of public trust," she said, acknowledging that the charges are serious, but rather to determine if release conditions can be crafted that protect the public.

She ordered that Redd avoid any contact with co-defendants and that he not carry a gun while awaiting trial.

Redd, 41, is one of nine children and has three children of his own, according to his attorney, Sean Vitrano. He "has no criminal record whatsoever," Vitrano said, is a 17-year veteran of the police force — though he's currently suspended — and he spent three years serving in the Army.

Those experiences make him more than able to understand "the consequences" of violating court conditions, Vitrano said.

But Wallner said Redd has already shown that he abuses the privileges he's given.

"Here is a [man] who was given an enormous amount of power," and was entrusted to use it "judiciously," Wallner said. He "failed to do so."

If convicted on all charges against him, Redd faces a minimum mandatory prison sentence of 65 years, though "it's conceivable that more charges will be added," Wallner said.

tricia.bishop@baltsun.com

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