Words by Darralyn Buford
2 Baltimore, MD Police were found guilty on Monday in a robbery and racketeering corruption case that is being considered one of the biggest conspiracy cases the city’s history, according to the Baltimore Sun.
Detectives, Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor were two members of the Gun Trace Task Force, a unit that has been under review for connections to a series of robberies, planting fake drugs and guns, and racking up on extra overtime. They face up to 20 years in prison on each count, for a total of 60 years.
The acting United States attorney for the District of Maryland, Stephen Schenning, said he hoped the police corruption case would “begin a long difficult process of examining how” the Baltimore force policies its own. “We hope that police officers live up to the honor and privilege of the badge,” Mr. Schenning said.
Four former officers on the task force, previously pled guilty to charges. In their testimonies, the officers identified Hersl and Taylor in connection to several of the unit’s heists. Taylor participated in a robbery of $100,000.
“We recognize that this indictment and subsequent trial uncovered some of the most egregious and despicable acts ever perpetrated in law enforcement,” Commissioner DeSousa said.
Eight officers have now been found guilty or have pled guilty to charges related to the Gun Trace Task Force’s actions. The department has created a new corruption unit “that will focus, specifically, on this case and the allegations that were made, but were not part of the indictment or prosecution,” De Sousa said. He added: “Our job moving forward is to earn back the trust and respect of the community.”