Two additional Baltimore Police officers suspended in connection to criminal indictment of gun squad

Two Baltimore cops suspended after federal indictment of 7 others.

Two Baltimore police officers have been suspended by the city police department in connection with the federal criminal indictment of seven other officers earlier this month, according to police.

T.J. Smith, a police spokesman, declined to name the two officers or elaborate on their connection to the federal case.

Smith said they were suspended with pay and placed on administrative duty pending an internal administrative investigation. They do not face criminal charges, he said.

The federal case, which involved federal law enforcement agents using a wiretap and other recording devices to eavesdrop on one of the city police department's most prolific gun enforcement squads, also remains under investigation within the police department, limiting what can be shared publicly, Smith said.

State law also restricts the release of internal police personnel records.

U.S. Attorney for Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein, Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis and officials with the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration jointly announced the criminal indictments against the seven Gun Trace Task Force officers on March 1.

Those plainclothes officers — a sergeant and six detectives — face federal racketeering charges, accused of shaking down citizens, filing false court paperwork and making fraudulent overtime claims. They were suspended without pay by the department. They have pleaded not guilty.

Their indictment had an immediate ripple effect.

Davis announced he was effectively ending plainclothes policing in Baltimore. State prosecutors began dropping cases involving the officers and launched a review into open and closed cases in which they were involved. The public defender's office is reviewing cases involving the officers, which it said could number in the thousands. Mayor Catherine Pugh has sought an audit of police overtime.

Davis has said reform isn't easy, and that he remains committed to rooting out corruption in the department wherever it exists.

krector@baltsun.com

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