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Patapsco Feed & Supply owner Donna Curry stands next to pigeons inside the store in Baltimore. A Pennsylvania man was sentenced Wednesday for committing an armed robbery of Curry and Jeffrey Shore alongside a corrupt Baltimore Police detective.
Patapsco Feed & Supply owner Donna Curry stands next to pigeons inside the store in Baltimore. A Pennsylvania man was sentenced Wednesday for committing an armed robbery of Curry and Jeffrey Shore alongside a corrupt Baltimore Police detective. (Michael Ares / Baltimore Sun)

A Pennsylvania man was sentenced Wednesday to eight-and-a-half years in federal prison for committing an armed robbery alongside a corrupt Baltimore police detective.

Thomas Finnegan, 38, of Easton, Pa., pleaded guilty in December to the robbery. His civilian co-defendant David Rahim, 42, of Baltimore, was sentenced in March to five years for the robbery. U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake also ordered them to pay back the $20,000 they stole.

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According to plea agreements of the two men, members of the Gun Trace Task Force searched a South Baltimore pigeon supply store in June 2014. Rahim’s cousin, Det. Jemell Rayam, 42, was among those who searched the store. He was also charged in the robbery.

During the search, officers discovered $20,000 in cash. Donna Curry and Jeffrey Shore, owners of Patapsco Feed & Supplies, said they had borrowed the cash from friends and family to pay off debt on two homes. Police found no illegal contraband or guns, federal prosecutors say.

Later the men hurried from her South Baltimore home with $20,000 in cash she had borrowed to payoff her taxes, leaving the Morrell Park woman another victim in a long-running robbery scheme allegedly orchestrated by detectives in an elite unit of the Baltimore police.

Afterward, Rayam told Finnegan and Rahim about the money, prosecutors said. And they plotted to rob the couple at their home later that evening. Rayam gave Finnegan and Rahim police tactical gear to impersonate officers during the robbery. Rayam waited outside in a police car so he could intercept any responding officers.

Finnegan and Rahim entered the home and robbed the couple at gunpoint of the $20,000. Federal prosecutors say Finnegan pointed the gun at one victim, saying “sit still and be patient.”

The robbery was one in a long-running corruption scheme carried out by members of the rogue police unit and their accomplices. Eight Baltimore police officers have been convicted of robbing drug dealers and cheating on their overtime pay.

Five of the officers have been sentenced to prison terms ranging from seven to 25 years. Three other officers await sentencing.

A federal judge handed down the first prison sentence in the Gun Trace Task Force case on Friday, ordering five years behind bars for a man who helped a member of the corrupt unit carry out a $20,000 robbery.

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