U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- Former Baltimore Police Sgt. Wayne Jenkins, 37, of Middle River, MD who was in charge of the now disbanded Baltimore Gun Trace Task Force has pleaded guilty in federal court to racketeering.
Federal authorities have arrested a total of nine officers from the disgraced Baltimore Gun Trace Task Force for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and drugs. Prosecutors accuse the GTTF of reselling the drugs and splitting the profits with a drug dealer they supplied. The task force would install GPS trackers on known drug dealer cars and then have a third party break into the cars and steal the cash and drugs. This tactic wasn't the only thing that task force used.
Jenkins and his fellow task force members would also break into suspected drug dealer houses for what is known as a “sneak and peak.” The officers conducted these searches without a warrant to get an inventory of what was in the houses. The officers would then have a third party rob the home of drugs and cash to resell the narcotics.
In one case Jenkins and fellow officers confiscated 50 lbs of marijuana that was sent by an unknown party through the US mail. Instead of turning it in for evidence in an open case the task force passed the drugs to their dealer who then sold it on the Baltimore streets.
This incident wasn't the only time that Jenkins and the other task force officers resold confiscated drugs. In one bust they recovered 30 lbs of marijuana. Once again, instead of turning it in for evidence, Jenkins passed it onto his dealer who sold it for $60,000 earning Jenkins and the other officers $30,000.
In yet another incident of misconduct a car was stopped and found to have $35,000 in cash, but nothing illegal. Jenkins let the driver go, but unknown to the driver he installed a small GPS unit on the car. He then had a third party break into the house and stole the cash when the owner was not home. Jenkins and his officers also stopped a suspect and took his house key. The officers drove to the house of the owner and stole $200,000 and two kilograms of cocaine while officers of the task force were detaining him. The task force then sold the cocaine on the streets of Baltimore through their dealer for $30,000.
Jenkins also admitted to planting evidence in a car of a suspect. Altogether the Task Force made between $200,000 and $250,000 in resold drugs. This money is in addition to the hundreds of thousands of dollars in stolen cash taken by the officers. These illegal activities are now causing hundreds of cases that the officers were involved in to be thrown out of the courts.
Jenkin's attorney, Steve Levin, seems to be implying that these crimes were a result of his time in the Marines and the death of his son. Jenkins served in the Marine Corp and was honorably discharged from the USMC. Levin also asked for leniency because Jenkins helped get guns off the streets of Baltimore. He didn't speak to the fact that most if not all of those cases are going to be thrown out because of the misconduct of the Baltimore Gun Trace Task Force.
“He and others were responsible for seizing hundreds if not thousands of illegal firearms and getting them off the streets of Baltimore City. At some point, regrettably, something changed,” Jenkin's attorney said in court. “Whether that’s a result of something that happened during his time in the military, something during his time in the Police Department, or as a result of the death of his son, remains uncertain.”
Jenkins is facing a minimum of 20 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years. The FBI is still trying to grasp the scope of how much money and property was stolen by the officers before the courts can decide on restitution to the victims. Two other officers, Detectives Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor, are set to go on trial later this month and entered a plea of not guilty.
In all the reporting on this story there is no mention if they were also selling the equally valuable guns they confisicated or stole?
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/patriotnews. John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%'ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on the history of the patriot movement and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss or at www.crumpy.com.