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Baltimore police officer convicted of misconduct after tipping off drug dealer

Baltimore officer who tipped off drug dealer convicted of misconduct

A Baltimore police officer has been convicted of misconduct after he was caught tipping off a drug dealer to a police investigation during an FBI "integrity sting," according to city prosecutors.

Stacey Plater, 41, of Baltimore was found guilty of the misconduct-in-office charge this week after a one-day jury trial, the office of Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby confirmed. He had pleaded not guilty.

"I commend our federal law enforcement partners on their role in developing this solid case," Mosby said in a statement. "Corrupt officers make it harder and more dangerous for upstanding officers committed to doing their jobs. This conviction is a testament to the fact that no one is above the law."

Chaz Ball, Plater's attorney, said he is "evaluating post-trial options" in the case ahead of Plater's scheduled sentencing hearing Feb. 24.

"We are obviously disappointed with the outcome," Ball said. "The allegations in this case are not reflective of who Stacey is as an officer and a person."

The Baltimore Police Department did not respond to a request for comment on the case.

According to a city salary database, Plater's annual salary in fiscal 2016 was $76,892.

According to Mosby's office, Plater was a patrol officer in October 2014 when he attended a Northwest District roll call meeting being covertly run by members of the FBI's Public and Border Corruption Task Force, who were part of an "ongoing integrity check" within the department.

The FBI agents briefed Plater and other Baltimore police officers at the meeting about a Prince George's County police investigation of four subjects suspected of drug activity, showing the officers pictures of the suspects. At the time, the FBI knew that Plater had ties to one of the suspects, Mosby's office said.

Plater asked the FBI agent if he could keep the photograph of one suspect, Mosby's office said. Shortly after the meeting, he made a phone call to another associate of the alleged drug dealer. He "told the associate that the PGPD were investigating the suspected drug dealer, and asked the associate to get in touch with the suspected drug dealer to set up a meeting at a barbershop in Baltimore," Mosby's office said.

The phone call was "intercepted, monitored, and recorded by federal law enforcement officers" under a federal wiretap order, Mosby's office said. Additional phone calls, in which Plater "discussed the fact that the suspected drug dealer was a target" of an investigation, were also recorded, Mosby's office said.

Asked why the case was tried this month, more than two years after the sting, Mosby's office said they only received the case last year.

An FBI spokesman said the case "did not meet federal guidelines," and so was referred to Mosby's office.

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