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‘Despicable’ Baltimore Corruption Scandal To End In Sentencing Of 16 Cops, Civilians

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Annabelle Bamforth
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(DCF) Federal investigators obtained the final two convictions related to an expansive corruption scandal inside the Baltimore Police Department Monday night, bringing the total to 16 convicted officers and civilians.

Six members of the city’s elite Gun Trace Task Force (GTTF) pleaded guilty to stealing from civilians and selling confiscated guns and drugs back onto the streets. They in turn testified against the remaining two members who claimed innocence. A five-man drug crew, a bail bondsman, and two other civilians have also been convicted, The Baltimore Sun reported. The corrupt officers have yet to be sentenced, but their actions have tainted as many as 850 cases and could result in overturned convictions.

“We recognize that this indictment and subsequent trial uncovered some of the most egregious and despicable acts ever perpetrated in law enforcement,” Acting-Commissioner Darryl De Sousa said Monday. “Let me make it clear: I have ZERO TOLERANCE for corruption.”

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Former-Detective Maurice Ward, a GTTF member, testified in January that the group would routinely carry BB guns in their vehicles just in case they needed to plant one on a crime scene. Ward testified to other shocking acts of corruption by the GTTF as well.

City violence has skyrocketed amid the police scandals, with Baltimore suffering 343 murders in 2017, a record rate with the city’s shrinking population. Mayor Catherine Pugh cited the surge in violence when she fired former-Commissioner Kevin Davis and replaced him with De Sousa.

“Crime is now spilling out all over the city, and we’ve got to focus. I am charging De Sousa and his staff to get on top of it to reduce the numbers and to reduce them quickly,” Pugh, a Democrat, said at a news conference. “The fact is, we are not achieving the pace of progress that our residents have every right to expect in the weeks since we ended what was nearly a record year for homicides in the city of Baltimore.”

The eight officers face maximum sentences from 20 to 40 years in prison, while the five-man drug crew could be facing life in prison. The remaining civilians do not yet have scheduled sentences.

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This article was re-published with permission from the Daily Caller Foundation.

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