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Baltimore drug dealers take testify against ‘corrupt special squad cops who faked warrants to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and drugs from them’

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Several admitted drug dealers took the stand on Tuesday and Wednesday to testify against two cops accused of racketeering and robbery
The dealers received immunity to testify against Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor two of eight cops from Baltimore’s disbanded Gun Trace Task Force facing corruption charges
 Hersl and Taylor  have entered ‘Not Guilty’ pleas
They are accused of using their position to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and drugs from the dealers and others
Six of the indicted officers –Sgt. Wayne Earl Jenkins, Dets. Maurice Kilpatrick Ward, Evodio Hendrix, Momodu Gando,  Jemell L Rayam and Sgt. Thomas Allers have pled guilty – Four are expected to testify as prosecution witnesses
Among the former dealers who took the stand Tuesday and Wednesday were Sergio Summerville, Ronald Hamilton, Oreese Stevenson and Dennis Armstrong
On Nov 15 Baltimore homicide detective Suiter, 43, who was set to testify before a grand jury in the case, was shot in the head
Allers, Rayam, Hendrix and Ward are facing up to 20 years in prison, Jenkins faces up to 30 and Gondo 40 years
In a role reversal, several admitted drug dealers with federal immunity deals testified against two former members of the Baltimore Police Department’s disbanded Gun Trace Task Force officers this week.
The dealers took to the stand on Tuesday and Wednesday, describing theft, intimidation and extortion by the officers, Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor.
Hersl and Taylor are among eight former members of the GTTF accused of racketeering and robbery charges.
The eight Baltimore city police officers charged with racketeering by the U.S. attorney’s office include Sgt. Wayne Earl Jenkins, Det Marcus Roosevelt Taylor, Maurice Kilpatrick Ward, Evodio Hendrix, Momodu Gando,  Daniel Thomas Hersl, Jemell L Rayam and Sgt. Thomas Allers.
The six others pleaded guilty to the charges, with four agreeing to take the stand to help convict their former partners.
Related:
Trial of two Baltimore police gun squad accused of extortion and robbery – Jury selection underway
 Keona Holloway 1.pngKeona Holloway, Stevenson’s longtime girlfriend also took the stand, and detailed how officers broke into their home without a warrant to steal an expensive watch and a bag of clothes 

The first drug dealer to take the stand on Tuesday was Dennis Armstrong, who says officers stopped him trying to leave a storage container where he stored cocaine.

He said officers stole $8,000 from him and reported seizing just $2,800 – secretly pocketing the rest.  He said they also destroyed his storage unit and stole two kilograms of cocaine.
Armstrong says he never reported the missing drugs because he feared he would face additional jail time.
The rest of the dealers took the stand on Wednesday.
Sergio Summerville, a self-confessed small-time drug dealer, described a similar incident in September 2016, when he too was stopped by members of the GTTF while leaving the storage unit where he was living.
He said one of the officers claimed to be a member of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and that they had a warrant to search his unit. Both turned out to be false.

 Daniel Hersl [left], and Marcus Taylor [right] 1.png Detectives Daniel Hersl [left], and Marcus Taylor [right], are the only two of eight indicted members of a disbanded police unit called the Gun Trace Task Force who have refused to take plea deals. They have been accused of using their position to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and drugs from the dealers and others
They didn’t even know my name, after we talked for awhile,’ Summerville said.
‘I said, ‘If you have a warrant and know everything, why are you asking my name?”

Nonetheless, the officers raided his storage unit and took the $4,800 he had hidden in a sock. He says the officers appeared to be disappointed by the amount. They then left without arresting him.
‘They came at me like a gang or something,’ Summerville said.
Summerville said the officers threatened to arrest him if he didn’t continue to make them regular payments – ‘like an extortion attempt’.
‘For my freedom, I’d have to give him a certain amount every week,’ Summerville said.
The 38-year-old said he was nervous about cooperating with the FBI, but felt compelled to bring the crooked cops to justice.
‘What they did wasn’t right,’ he said. ‘I just want to put this behind me.’
Related:
Slain Baltimore police officer, Sean Suiter, was shot in the head just before he was to testify against rogue cops in fed case

Det.Maurice Ward [left].and Sgt Wayne Jenkins [right] 1 .png
  Det Maurice Ward [left], who worked with Marcus Taylor under Sgt Wayne Jenkins [right], who have already taken pleas testified for the prosecution

The most dramatic testimony came on Wednesday when one of the witness in the trial of two holdouts, exploded in anger Wednesday while testifying against Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor.
Ronald Hamilton says he was shopping for blinds at Home Depot with his wife in July 2016 when officers cornered him and asked ‘Where the money at?’
Ronald Hamilton who testified that he had put his life of dealing drugs behind him when he was targeted by the GTTF, yelled at a defense lawyer, claiming the officers had destroyed his life.
When defense lawyers kept pressing Hamilton about how he made his money, he exploded in angry expletives. Saying this case has “destroyed his family,” the former drug dealer reiterated that his encounter with the gun squad has destroyed his life.
Hamilton’s testimony insinuates that gun squad detectives trolled casinos to single out targets to rob.
Hamilton said former gun squad Sgt. Wayne Jenkins knew he had won money gambling when he and his wife were targeted by the squad in 2016, because “Jenkins [stated], ‘You had a good night the other night.'” Hamilton said.
Hamilton responded, “What do you mean?”
“At the casino,” Jenkins said.
Hamilton told the court Sgt. Jenkins, two other detectives and one of the men on trial, Det. Hersl were all involved in the search of his Westminster house. The officers snagged at least $25,000 before leaving.
Hamilton has dealt drugs in the past, but neither guns nor drugs were found in his house when the gun squad singled him out.
Prosecutor: “Do you even now why they targeted you?”
Hamilton: “Somebody put them on me. They thought I was another person they could get.”
Hersl and Taylor are charged in a federal corruption case with robbery and overtime fraud.
A parade of other witnesses told federal jurors of being robbed by gun squad detectives. Most of the witnesses testified under immunity because of current or past drug dealing, which were the typical person targeted by the gun squad.
It was September 2016 at a downtown storage facility where detectives with the gun squad targeted a small-time drug dealer who used a storage unit to keep his drugs. In testimony in federal court, the dealer spoke of his encounter with Hersl.
“He came at me like a gang. He wanted to meet me every week, like some kind of extortion, to know who I was dealing with and to give him money,” the drug dealer said.
The drug dealer said detectives in the gun squad stole drugs from his unit and $2,400 from a sock. He made no complaint.
Prosecutor: “Were you concerned you could be charged? Is that why you didn’t make a complaint?”
Dealer: “Yes.”
No charges were filed.
Jurors saw video of an encounter taken by the storage facility’s security camera.

Gregory Thompson, Storage facility worker 1  Storage facility, Thompson testified the officers threatened him when he balked at showing them the footage of events at the facility during a shakedown

A facility employee testified that Hersl and Jenkins demanded to see the video that night. He said they got impatient and rude when he told them they needed a warrant. The storage facility employee testified that one of them said, “I looked like somebody that needed to be robbed.”
Another man who testified on Wednesday said he had put his life of dealing drugs behind him when he was targeted by the GTTF.
Ronald Hamilton says he was shopping for blinds at Home Depot with his wife in July 2016 when officers cornered him and asked ‘Where the money at?’
Hamilton says one of the cops, Jemell Rayam, took $3,400 out of his pocket before slipping on his police vest.
He  then took Hamilton and his wife back to the police station where Sgt. Wayne Jenkins pretended to be a federal prosecutor and accused Hamilton of making three drug deals.
‘That’s a lie,’ Hamilton said he told them.
The officers then took the couple back to their $500,000 home in Carroll County and searched the house looking for drugs and cash.

Evodio Hendrix [left], and Wayne Jenkins [right] 1  Evodio Hendrix [left] and Momodu Gando [right], two of the accused officers, have both taken pleas

They didn’t find anything illegal but did find $75,000 in cash stored in heat-sealed bags. The officers pocketed $25,000 and left without arresting Hamilton.

Hamilton snapped in court when attorneys for the cops tried to insinuate that he couldn’t have afforded such an expensive house shortly after leaving prison without continuing to deal drugs.
He said that he had made his money all legally by selling cars, working at an assisted living facility, managing rental properties and gambling.
‘This right here destroyed my whole f****** family!’ he yelled. ‘Everybody’s life is destroyed because of this. I’m in a divorce process because of this. … My kids are afraid to go in the house!’
The judge had to order Hamilton to calm down.
Hamilton says he believes he was targeted by the officers because they saw him gambling large amounts of money at a casino.
Oreese Stevenson is another former dealer who made a deal with prosecutors to testify during the trial.
He said he was about to sell drugs from his car when Taylor arrested him.
Officers then stole his keys and searched his home, finding 10 kilos of cocaine and $200-$300,000 dollars.
He says officers stole about $100,000 of the cash and some of the cocaine.

Thomas Allers [left], and Jemell Rayam [right] 1.png  Thomas Allers [left], who also oversaw the unit already pled guilty along with Momodu Gondo, Jemell Rayam [right], Evodio Hendrix and Ward. Rayam  allegedly is at the center of the corruption scandal.

Earlier in the trial, two officers testified that the split the $100,000 and went gambling with the money that night.
Stevenson’s longtime girlfriend Keona Holloway also testified and said the officers took an expensive watch and a bag of clothes.
Holloway said she did not know the drugs and cash were inside the home.
At the beginning of the trial, attorneys for the two cops said the witnesses should not be trusted due to their criminal histories.
Taylor’s lawyer, Jennifer Wicks, told jurors that the witnesses the government will call during the trial have made ‘a career of lying’ to investigators, juries and others. She called for jurors to examine their motivations and biases, particularly the indicted officers cooperating with the government.
‘The evidence will show you couldn’t believe them before, and you can’t believe them now,’ Hinds said, arguing that she believes jurors should find Taylor not guilty of all charges against him.
Hersl’s defense attorney, William Purpura contends that ‘It was a crime of theft, a crime of the moment,’ Purpura told jurors, asserting Hersl’s 17-year career as a Baltimore officer was dominated by legitimate police work. He claims these thefts took place on a ‘few occasions,’ asserting that federal prosecutors were essentially ‘overcharging’ his client.
While not denying that his 48-year-old client took money, which he described as an act that ’embarrassed’ the city and the detective’s family, Purpura maintains  that the evidence will show it didn’t rise to charges of robbery or extortion.

Donald Stepp 1.jpg
Donald Stepp had earlier pled guilty to his role helping a Sgt. Wayne Jenkins, a member of the Baltimore Police Gun Trace Task Force, rob drug dealers and re-sell drugs that were stolen.
The case had earlier veered into descriptions of outright robbery when a Baltimore County bail bondsman testified Thursday that he partnered for years with the sergeant of the Baltimore Police Gun Trace Task Force to resell drugs the officer had taken off the street.
Baltimore County bail bondsman Donald C. Stepp, 51, described the gun unit was a “front for a criminal enterprise,” and that he felt protected because he had relationships with police who “owned the city.”
Stepp said he dealt exclusively with Sgt. Wayne Jenkins one of the men indicted who had earlier taken a plea deal. Jenkins brought drugs on a near-nightly basis to his waterfront home in Middle River, Stepp said.
Recounting an incident in April 2015, during the riots that followed the death of Freddie Gray. Jenkins he said, walked into his garage carrying two garbage bags full of looted pharmaceutical drugs.
The bonds man testified that he and Jenkins targeted the biggest reputed drug dealers in town for break-ins, including taking $15,000 to $19,000 after breaking into the car of one man while it was parked at a Sam’s Club.
A Baltimore County officer accompanied him on at least one such break-in, Stepp said
He told the court Jenkins had him buy the masks, crowbars, lock cutters, machete and grappling hook that were in the two large black bags recovered from Jenkins’ vehicle. The contents of the bag were displayed in court earlier in the trial. The testimony was buttressed with  photos of some interactions with Jenkins, including images showing him wearing police gear and holding Jenkins’ gun inside Baltimore Police headquarters in February 2015.

 

 

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