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Federal authorities sharing evidence from Baltimore police corruption investigation with local authorities

A look a the timeline of our coverage of the Baltimore Police racketeering case from the first day U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein announced the charges until the trial. (Kevin Richardson / Baltimore Sun video)

The federal authorities who prosecuted Baltimore’s corrupt police Gun Trace Task Force say they are now sharing evidence with local authorities for charges that could be filed on the local level.

A Baltimore police spokesman said Commissioner Darryl De Sousa is working with the head of the FBI field office to do an “after-action review” of the case.

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“We will be receiving information to comb over,” spokesman T.J. Smith said.

The Baltimore state’s attorney’s office confirmed that federal prosecutors had “shared components of its GTTF investigation with our office,” but said it was “not at liberty to comment” further.

Longtime assistant state’s attorney Anna Mantegna was fired Tuesday, her attorney said.

Federal prosecutors said last year that the gun unit officers had been tipped to the federal investigation by an assistant state’s attorney. They never identified the individual.

The state’s attorney’s office would not comment on whether there was a connection between the federal prosecutors’ information and Mantegna’s termination.

Mantegna’s attorney, Latoya Francis-Williams, said Mantegna asked why she was being terminated, but was not given a reason.

“She is not the leak, but this is convenient for politics,” Francis-Wililams said. “They know this woman’s integrity, they know her credentials. We don’t believe they truly believe she’s the leak.”

In an interview this week with The Baltimore Sun, federal prosecutors Leo Wise and Derek Hines indicated they are unlikely to bring additional federal charges related to the rogue gun unit’s crimes.

The assistant U.S. attorneys said they have charged all city officers and their associates whom they have evidence of being involved in robberies or drug trafficking from 2015 through 2017, the period covered in the racketeering indictment.

Six task force members pleaded guilty to federal racketeering charges, and two were found guilty this month by a federal jury. Also convicted were two men who aided convicted Detective Jemell Rayam in a robbery and a Baltimore County bail bondsman who sold drugs provided to him by convicted Sgt. Wayne Jenkins. A Philadelphia police officer who used to work in Baltimore awaits trial on charges that he conspired with Rayam.

Hines said other individuals were implicated in “off-the-books stuff with Jenkins.” Wise noted testimony from one cooperating defendant, Donald Stepp, about an unnamed Baltimore County officer alleged to be involved in a burglary.

“Those burglaries, we can’t charge federally,” Wise said.

A dozen other current or former city officers were implicated by convicted officers in their testimony. But the prosecutors said those allegations pose challenges including statutes of limitations.

A reporter asked prosecutors about the 2011 towing scandal case in which 17 Baltimore officers were charged federally, and others were later charged in state court. Acting U.S. Attorney Stephen Schenning said those state cases were charged after federal prosecutors “turned over some of the evidence we had to our state partners.”

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“Which is what we’re doing too,” Wise added.

Cpl. Shawn Vinson, a Baltimore County police spokesman, said county authorities “are in contact with the FBI” and “trying to determine what information is out there to see if we’re able to conduct an investigation.”

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