Masks and tools carried around by the leader of the Baltimore Police Department’s corrupt Gun Trace Task Force, as well as a video officers made to cover up a theft of $100,000, were among the pieces of evidence federal prosecutors allowed The Baltimore Sun and other media outlets to view Thursday.
The evidence was shown to jurors over the course of a three-week trial that ended Monday evening with Detectives Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor being found guilty of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy and robbery counts.
All eight members of the elite gun unit who were charged have been convicted. Six others previously pleaded guilty.
The evidence also includes an audio recording, picked up by a recording device put in a police vehicle by the FBI, of officers chasing a car then failing to render aid when a serious crash took place.
Convicted Det. Maurice Ward testified that Sgt. Wayne Jenkins once proposed a robbery and showed him two duffel bags from in the back of Jenkins’ police van — one containing masks and various articles of black clothing, and another stuffed with tools such as a machete, lock cutters, and a rope with a grappling hook. Jenkins often talked about targeting “monsters,” or big-time drug dealers, for robberies, witnesses testified.
Donald Stepp, an associate of Jenkins, testified he had purchased the items for Jenkins over Amazon, and prosecutors displayed his online order history.
The video was created by police to cover up the fact that the officers had broken into a man’s safe and stolen $100,000 in March 2016. After breaking the safe open and taking out $200,000 in bundles, they put $100,000 back in and closed it up, and made a video pretending they were opening it for the first time, in case they were questioned.
“Hey sarge, come downstairs, they’re about to get it open!” one officer yells as officers grunt while working a crowbar on the safe.
Jenkins tells everyone to handle the case by the book.
“Nobody touches it, understand me right now,” Jenkins can be heard saying. “We’re not even gonna [expletive] touch it. Keep your camera on it.”