Baltimore police officers indicted in racketeering case

More officers facing charges on beleaguered Baltimore force

Seven Baltimore police officers were indicted Wednesday for federal racketeering crimes ranging from filing false overtime claims while actually at a casino to robbing a driver during a traffic stop.

Some of the officers involved in the alleged conspiracy have a history of misconduct, according to the Baltimore Sun, including one whose conduct resulted in multiple settled lawsuits and another who was involved in three shootings over the course of two years.

Rosenstein announced the indictments at a press conference with Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis and officials with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Drug Enforcement Administration.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch, right, speaks during a joint news conference in Baltimore on January 12.to announce the Baltimore Police Department's commitment to a sweeping overhaul of its practices under a court-enforceable agreement with the federal government. Clockwise from top left are Marcus Taylor, Daniel Hersl, Maurice Ward, Jemell Rayam, Evodio Hendrix, Wayne Jenkins, and Momodu Gando.

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The officers, all members in 2015 and 2016 of a gun-crime investigation unit, stole firearms, drugs and cash ranging from $200 to $200,000 from victims, some of whom had not committed crimes, Rosenstein's office said in a statement. Commissioner Kevin Davis called it "disgusting" and a betrayal of trust.

The explosive indictment reads more like a Hollywood movie script than a routine charging document, as the feds followed what they described as a squad of renegade officers committing brazen robberies and staging cover-ups to avoid detection by their supervisors. Each officer faces 20 years behind bars if convicted. In a press conference, Rosenstein said the police officers were "involved in a pernicious conspiracy scheme" to steal large sums of money out of people's homes and cars and to receive thousands of dollars in bogus overtime pay.

Wise believes that the officers were warned about the investigation into their conduct by other officers and an assistant state's attorney.

WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren reports that one officer went on a vacation in Myrtle Beach and charged overtime to the city.

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Online jail records showed Rizzuto was arrested on a number of charges and was being held at the city's jail. The victims range in age from as young as 3 or 4-years-old to adults in their 30s and 40s, said Elder.

"We wouldn't be under a consent decree if we didn't' have issues".

The alleged theft and fraud that the officers are accused of happened at the same time the Department of Justice was investigating the police department, finding several civil rights abuses and corruption.

The officers appeared for initial hearings in US District Court while wearing street clothes and handcuffs on Wednesday.

The documents also say officers scammed the city out of nearly $500,000 in overtime, and show salaries of between $66,000 and $85,000 being inflated to gross annual pay of between $100,000 and $168,000 with overtime. He declined to make other comments.

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