Now comes the punishment.
The conviction Monday of two Baltimore police detectives on racketeering charges — six others pleaded guilty without a trial — opens a new phase in the federal prosecution of the city’s formerly elite Gun Trace Task Force.
U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake will hand down prison sentences for eight officers, a five-man drug crew, one bail bondsman and two other civilians. All were linked in a web of crime that stretched from peddlers of deadly heroin in Northeast Baltimore to a celebrated unit of plainclothes police.
One Philadelphia officer still awaits trial in Baltimore. Prosecutors said Eric Troy Snell, a former Baltimore cop, partnered with the rogue cops to sell cocaine and heroin they seized from Baltimore’s streets. Snell remains jailed; his trial has not yet been scheduled.
The six officers who pleaded guilty admitted to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in drugs, cash and jewelry from people they encountered on the streets. Some officers nearly doubled their salaries by billing the city for overtime hours they didn’t work. They admitted to lying on reports to cover up the schemes.
The six men who pleaded guilty face maximum prison sentences ranging from 20 to 40 years. Sgt. Wayne Jenkins, one of the task force commanders, is scheduled for sentencing on April 12. He faces as much as 30 years in prison. The other five have not yet been scheduled for sentencing.
Detectives Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor chose to fight their charges in court. A jury convicted both on Monday of racketeering conspiracy and robbery, but acquitted them of possessing a gun in a violent crime. They each face as much as 60 years in prison.
Five men have been found guilty of operating the heroin ring that led federal investigators to the corrupt police. One detective has admitted to running interference for the drug dealers.
The five men all await sentencing. Antonio Shropshire, Antoine Washington and Alexander Campbell could be sentenced to life in prison. Glen Kyle Wells and Omari Thomas, a former running back for the Baltimore Cobras semi-pro football team, face as much as 40 years in prison. They have not yet been scheduled for sentencing.
Three civilians have pleaded guilty to crimes committed with the officers. Thomas Robert Finnegan and David Kendall Rahim admitted to helping the officers rob a South Baltimore couple of $20,000. They both face as much as life in prison. They are scheduled for sentencing March 9.
Bail bondsman Donald Stepp pleaded guilty to drug charges last month. The Baltimore County man admitted to selling cocaine and heroin supplied by one of the officers. He’s scheduled for sentencing April 6. He faces the possibility of life in prison.