Baltimore’s spending panel on Wednesday approved nearly $200,000 in settlements for two people who said they were arrested after Baltimore Police officers planted drugs on them.
Kyle Knox, of East Baltimore, was arrested on October 11, 2012, by former Baltimore Police Detective Daniel Hersl of the corrupt Gun Trace Task Force. He pleaded guilty to a drug charge and served two years in prison, according to a summary provided to the Board of Estimates.
The law department recommended the board approve a settlement of $120,000 for Knox rather than going to court.
Knox claims the officers had no probable cause to stop him and that the drugs recovered were planted on him by Hersl and Officer Stephen A. Romey.
Hersl is serving 18 years in federal prison after being convicted of robbery, dealing drugs and overtime following a jury trial in 2018. Romey was not criminally charged but was listed, along with Hersl, as a defendant in a lawsuit filed by Knox in May. Hersl had been assigned to the Gun Trace Task Force, which included a dozen officers who were federally charged and convicted for sweeping corruption beginning in 2017.
Knox’s charges were vacated in 2019, and all were dismissed, the summary said.
The board also voted on a second settlement, of $75,000, to Shaune O. Berry, who said that Baltimore Police Officers Momodu Gondo and Ryan Guinn of the Gun Trace Task Force stopped Berry on February 10, 2011, and claimed to have found marijuana and cash on him. The officers then went to Berry’s home, where his brother consented to a search of the home and the officers reported finding additional drugs, cash and a firearm, according to the summary.
Berry claims Gondo planted drugs and firearms on him, the summary said. Berry later pleaded guilty to one charge and was sentenced to three years in prison, serving two years. Berry’s conviction was vacated, and the charges against him were dismissed in 2019.
Following the fallout from the 2017 GTTF case, Gondo was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2019.
The claims resulting from the corruption scandal have cost the city millions of dollars.