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Former Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa released from prison, in halfway house

Former Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa leaves federal court after he is sentenced to 10 months in prison for deliberately not paying his federal taxes.
Former Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa leaves federal court after he is sentenced to 10 months in prison for deliberately not paying his federal taxes. (KIm Hairston / Baltimore Sun)

Former Baltimore Police commissioner Darryl De Sousa has been released from federal prison and is being transferred to a monitored facility for inmates preparing to reenter society, prison officials confirmed Friday.

Known as “community custody,” the transitional step in De Sousa’s sentence entails residence in a halfway house, a supervised facility with curfews, a strict alcohol and drug policy, and required programs and training sessions for inmates. The transfer can be afforded to inmates in good standing or those sentenced for nonviolent crimes to help relieve overcrowding in prisons.

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De Sousa, appointed by then-Mayor Catherine Pugh as the city’s top cop in 2018, pleaded guilty last April to three counts of failing to file federal tax returns. U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake sentenced him to 10 months in federal prison, 100 hours of community service and one year of supervised release.

De Sousa’s fall from grace occurred during yet another deadly year in Baltimore, one in which more than 300 people were killed. Pugh appointed De Sousa in January 2018 after firing police commissioner Kevin Davis, citing her impatience with his progress in curbing the violence. In 2017, the city experienced 342 homicides.

De Sousa resigned four months later amid the tax charges. Pugh defended her selection of him later that year at a unity event for the city’s black and Jewish communities, saying she stood behind her decision.

“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 and focused.”

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” children’s books to clients with business before the city, leveraging her power as a state senator and covering her tracks.

De Sousa had been scheduled for release from the prison system March 11. The Federal Bureau of Prisons website now lists his location as “RRM Baltimore,” which stands for residential reentry management.

Gerard Martin, an attorney who represented De Sousa, said he has not spoken to the former police commissioner since his release.

Baltimore Sun reporter Kevin Rector contributed to this article

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