Federal prosecutors allege that several Baltimore officers operated as a criminal enterprise, using the power of their badges to detain and rob people while falsifying evidence to cover their tracks. The investigation is ongoing.
Federal prosecutors in the Baltimore police Gun Trace Task Force corruption case say they have “additional targets,” says a filing in which they ask for tight restrictions on evidence shared with the current defendants. Assistant U.S. Attorney Derek Hines described the investigation as “ongoing” in requesting that the court impose a protective order on evidence, the Baltimore Sun reports. “Multiple law enforcement officers and former law enforcement officers have provided information … that relates to an ongoing criminal investigation,” Hines wrote. “This investigation includes an investigation of corruption in the Baltimore Police Department. Disclosure of this information will thwart the investigation because it could tip off additional targets of the investigation, lead to the destruction of evidence, and cause safety issues for multiple law enforcement and non-law enforcement witnesses.”
The government’s evidence restriction mirrors how prosecutors handle street gang cases. In the gun task force case, prosecutors have alleged that the officers operated as a criminal enterprise, using the power of their badges to detain and rob people while falsifying evidence to cover their tracks. When they weren’t robbing people, they were often earning fraudulent overtime pay for hours not worked, prosecutors say. Five officers have pleaded guilty, and a sixth is scheduled to enter a guilty plea on Friday. Two other officers are slated to fight the charges at a trial beginning Jan. 22. Reiterating earlier claims that the incarcerated officers present a danger to witnesses, Hines said the government “has reason to believe that witnesses and their families could be subjected to physical harm when their identities are disclosed.”