A federal appeals court has affirmed racketeering convictions of the two Baltimore police officers who went to trial in the Gun Trace Task Force corruption scandal.
Detectives Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor were found guilty of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy and robbery in February 2018 and sentenced each to 18 years in prison. Both men appealed to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, but the judges upheld their convictions Tuesday.
“This is a particularly sad case,” judges wrote. “The community places a noble trust in police officers to define and enforce, in the first instance, the delicate line between the chaos of lawlessness and the order of the rule of law. And when police officers breach that trust and misuse their authority, as here, a measure of despair infuses in the community, tainting far more than do similar crimes by others.”
Eight former members of the Gun Trace Task Force were convicted of racketeering crimes and sentenced to federal prison. The officers — six accepted plea deals — stole money from citizens, lied on paperwork and bilked the city for unearned overtime pay. They are serving prison sentences that range from seven to 25 years.