Several of the police officers who were once praised for protecting citizens by “getting guns off of the streets” in Baltimore are now facing federal charges after it was revealed they were stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and firearms from innocent citizens.
Baltimore’s Gun Trace Task Force was once considered an elite group of officers who raided homes across the city, in search of illegal firearms. Now, Sgt. Thomas Allers has become the ninth officer to face charges in relation to his work with the group.
Allers was the supervisor of the task force, and he is charged with stealing more than $100,000 during a three-year period. He is expected to plead guilty to one count of racketeering, according to a report from the Baltimore Sun.
While Allers is facing charges of racketeering conspiracy and robbery, the other seven members of the task force are facing charges of robbery, filing false paperwork and overtime fraud. Allers would be the fifth officer to plead guilty, and as the report noted, none of the officers who have pleaded guilty have been sentenced and “at least two are cooperating with authorities against their former colleagues.”
Allers is accused of participating in nine robberies between 2014 and 2016. Although he is not a police officer and has not been charged, Allers’ adult son was mentioned in the indictment as having helped his father and two other detectives steal $66,000 during a raid.
The Drug Enforcement Administration began investigating the task force after Detective Momodu Gondo was caught on a wiretap discussing drug trafficking with a drug dealer who was being investigated. Gondo has since pleaded guilty and is now “cooperating with authorities,” and disclosing details to the FBI about the members involved in the illegal activities. It was tips from Gondo and other officers that led the FBI to investigate Allers.
The stories of the damage caused by Baltimore’s Gun Trace Task Force are chilling. In one case reported by WBAL-TV, Allers stole more than $10,000 in cash from a house during a raid. The man who owned the money was preparing to repay a drug debt, and when he could not deliver after police stole his money, he was shot and killed.
Another report from the Baltimore Sun described a classic raid in which the officers went from pursuing a suspect to stealing any cash or drugs they could find:
“In a typical example, an alleged robbery in August 2016, federal prosecutors say Clewell, Jenkins and Hersl conducted surveillance of a suspect leaving a storage facility. The three officers pursued the suspect and arrested him, then brought him back to the storage facility.
Prosecutors accuse Hersl and Jenkins of taking at least $7,000 from the man’s vehicle, but do not mention Clewell in the alleged theft. Prosecutors say Clewell left the scene to prepare a search warrant, and accuse Jenkins of stealing two kilograms of cocaine while he was gone.”
As The Free Thought Project reported, the Baltimore Police Department has come under fire in recent months after Body Camera footage was made public that showed an officer planting drugs on an innocent man while his fellow officers watched, and a group of officers working together to manufacture evidence.
The Baltimore state’s attorney announced on Monday that out of the 277 cases the Gun Trace Task Force officers were involved in, 125 of the cases have been dropped and 71 are still under review. Sgt. Thomas Allers is expected to plead guilty when he appears in court on Wednesday.
Given these revelations about such a large group of corrupt and thieving cops within the Baltimore police department the idea that Sean Suiter who was shot with his own gun the day before he was set to testify against corrupt cops within his own department becomes that much more ominous.