A federal judge handed down the first prison sentence Friday in the Gun Trace Task Force case, ordering five years behind bars for a man who helped a member of the corrupt unit carry out a $20,000 robbery.
At the sentencing hearing for David Kendall Rahim, federal prosecutors also revealed new allegations against him and his cousin, Baltimore Police Det. Jemell Rayam, saying they took part in two previously undisclosed robberies a decade ago, including one that netted $50,000.
Rahim pleaded guilty last fall to charges that he was recruited in 2014 by Rayam to rob a couple who owned a pigeon store in South Baltimore’s Brooklyn neighborhood. Rayam and members of his unit had executed a search warrant at the couple’s business, where Rayam saw the cash.
That night, he gave police gear and his gun to friend Thomas Robert Finnegan and Rahim, who entered the home pretending to be officers and stole the cash. Finnegan also pleaded guilty.
Reporter Justin Fenton on the guilty verdicts read in the trial of Baltimore detectives Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor. (Kevin Richardson / Baltimore Sun video)
Assistant U.S. Attorney Derek Hines said the two men were captured on surveillance footage before disabling the security system. Inside, Finnegan pointed a gun at the couple and told them to sit still and be quiet. Rayam, who worried the couple would recognize him from the search warrant, stayed behind to keep watch.
Hines said the robbery “could’ve gone very, very wrong if the witnesses had not complied.”
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Rayam is among the eight Baltimore Police officers who have either pleaded guilty or were found guilty at trial, and has been cooperating with the government in hopes of receiving a credit at sentencing. Rayam has admitted to crimes dating back a decade. His sentencing has not been scheduled.
Hines said the pigeon store robbery was not isolated for Rahim. He said prosecutors have determined that in 2007 or 2008 Rahim and Rayam entered a home after receiving a key from another, unnamed officer, and stole a couple hundred dollars. A year later, Hines said, a source of information for Rayam told him that a drug dealer had $50,000 inside a home, and left a window open for Rayam so he could steal it when the dealer left.
Timeline following the federal racketeering case of Baltimore's Gun Trace Task Force.
May 28, 2019 at 12:00 PM
Sentencing guidelines called for Rahim to receive more than nine years in prison, including a mandatory seven years for a charge of committing a crime of violence with a handgun. U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake said Rahim’s sentence should not be that high, but that it was an “extremely serious” offense that called for five years of incarceration.
Rahim has worked for the past six years for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner as an autopsy technician, and his attorney William Welch asked for two years in prison. The medical examiner’s office said Rahim had been an exceptional employee and would be considered for re-hiring.
Blake imposed restitution payments for the stolen money, and Welch, in arguing for a lesser sentence, said Rahim has the best chance to repay the victims.