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Baltimore police officer charged with misconduct over protecting former partner from charges

A Baltimore Police officer has been criminally charged with misleading an assistant state’s attorney to prevent an ex-police officer — his former partner — from being prosecuted.

Detective Sherrod Biggers, 34, was charged Tuesday with one count of misconduct in office. Police said that in 2019, Biggers’ former partner was charged with a crime and Biggers falsely told a prosecutor that he wanted to use the former partner as an informant and needed him to have a clean record.

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The charges come two years after Biggers was publicly accused of tipping off a member of the Gun Trace Task Force to the federal investigation that led to multiple charges and convictions of Baltimore police officers. Cooperating defendant Momodu Gondo testified at the federal racketeering trial in early 2018 that he had been informed that he was under federal investigation by Biggers.

The accusation was not explored further at the trial; Biggers was never charged with a crime. He made dozens of arrests in the next few months, but later was suspended, according to Lindsey Eldridge, the department’s chief spokeswoman.

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Biggers’ attorney Chaz Ball said he did not want to comment at this stage in the case but that “the facts will come out.”

The criminal charges Biggers now faces were brought by the Maryland State’s Attorneys’ Association, which takes cases involving a conflict with the city state’s attorney’s office.

Charging documents say that Biggers’ former partner, Vaughn Diggs, who left the police force in 2014, was facing charges. Biggers is accused of telling Assistant State’s Attorney Ellen Johnston that he planned to use Diggs as a confidential informant in a drug case, and wondered if the case against Diggs could be dropped with restitution imposed to resolve the matter instead.

The case was not dropped, but Diggs was found not guilty. The case no longer appears in online court records. Diggs could not be reached for comment.

The charging documents filed against Biggers erroneously say that Diggs was a former member of the Gun Trace Task Force, and that Biggers had left this out when talking to the prosecutor. Diggs was never assigned to the Gun Trace Task Force.

Police said that because Biggers is charged with a misdemeanor, under state law he is suspended with pay and assigned to administrative duties.

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