Articles Posted in Police Misconduct

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msp-300x169Anne Arundel County Police recently arrested an off-duty Maryland State Trooper after he was accused of sexual assaulting a woman and refusing to let her leave her own home.  According to reports, the trooper and the alleged victim were longtime friends who apparently went out drinking together at a local bar.  After leaving the bar, the pair took an Uber back to the woman’s home, and things allegedly became violent after the woman refused the trooper’s sexual advances.  When county police officers arrived at the Pasadena home around 4 a.m., they observed the woman with injuries to her face, which gave police probable cause to make an arrest.  Despite the violent nature of the charges, the trooper was released on his own recognizance by a District Court Commissioner, and is now scheduled to stand trial in late July at the Glen Burnie District Courthouse.  He is charged with second degree assault, fourth degree sex offense and false imprisonment, and has been suspended with pay pending the outcome of the case and an internal investigation by MSP.  The 34-year-old trooper is a 10-year MSP veteran who was recently assigned to the Westminster Barrack in Carroll County after also patrolling in Howard County.

Police were originally called to the scene by the alleged victim’s husband, who dialed 911 in response to frantic texts from his wife stating that she was in danger.  Although the alleged victim reportedly refused to sign a written statement, she did tell police that the trooper attempted to put his hands down her pants and up her shirt, attempted take her clothes off and then slammed her head on the kitchen counter multiple times when she refused.  The Blog will continue to follow this case, and may post another article in the future when the case is resolved.  As with most domestic violence cases, the victim will have a say in how this case is prosecuted, but not the final say.  It is common in cases like this for the state to potentially dismiss the fourth-degree sex offense and false imprisonment charges pursuant to a plea agreement, but it is way too early to make an educated prediction about this particular case.  If police did in fact observe injuries consistent with the alleged victim’s statement, then the state would likely proceed on the second-degree assault charges.  The defendant could potentially avoid a conviction if the state is willing to place the case on STET with conditions such as anger management and alcohol education, but this could be a long shot based on these facts.  If the alleged victim is uncooperative, recants or is unavailable things could swing more in the trooper’s favor, but his employment would still almost certainly be in jeopardy.

While assault in the second degree has a higher maximum penalty than 4th degree sex offense, a conviction in Maryland for sex offense in the fourth degree may require a person to register as a Tier 1 sex offender for 15 years.  There are three tiers of sex offender registrants under Maryland law, with Tier 3 being the highest.  Tier 3 offenders must register every 3 months for life, and Tier 2 offenders must register every 6 months for 25 years.  In addition to 4th degree sex offense, other Tier 1 offenses include possession of child pornography and visual surveillance with prurient intent.  Common Tier 2 offenses include distribution of child pornography, 3rd degree sex offense, human trafficking and sexual solicitation of a minor.  Tier 3 crimes are typically violent offenses such as rape, child kidnapping, sex offenses with force and sexual abuse of a minor.

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copblock-police-corruption-300x200A Maryland State Trooper with more than 10 years of service has been charged with several federal felonies for attempting to tip off a drug dealer about ongoing investigations in exchange for cash.  The trooper was arrest by the FBI and now faces charges including bribery, conspiracy to distribute controlled dangerous substances, using a communications facility to commit a drug felony and aiding and abetting in the distribution of controlled dangerous substances.  The affidavit used to charge the trooper was heavily redacted due to the ongoing nature of the investigation and other considerations, but the public recently became aware of the general nature of the trooper’s alleged unfortunate course of conduct.  What we do know is that the trooper was assigned to the Criminal Enforcement Division Western Region Narcotics, which works closely with federal law enforcement agencies such as the DEA and FBI.  Western Maryland counties including Washington County and Frederick County have been identified by the feds as drug trafficking hot spots, and therefore receive federal funding for ramped up law enforcement activity.  The Narcotics Task Force in Washington County is another example of a state law enforcement agency (Washington County Sheriff’s Office and Hagerstown Police Department) that works closely with the feds.  This particular trooper attended high school in Frederick County and achieved the rank of Corporal before being placed on administrative leave due to the investigation.  The accused was also a recipient of a trooper of the year award for the Salisbury Barrack in 2013.

At some point during an investigation into a Drug Trafficking Organization or DTO that was operating in the Hagerstown area, the trooper reached out to a suspect looking to profit off of law enforcement information.  The trooper relayed that he had information about GPS tracking devices being placed on cars, future search warrants and later a potential wire-tap.  It turns out that the wire-tap information was fabricated by the government in an attempt to weed out the leak from within the law enforcement team working the case.  The government’s theory based on the affidavit in support of the criminal complaint seems to be that the trooper was in severe debt, with credit card payments and loans exceeding $67,000, and was desperate for cash.  His desperation caused him to strike a cash for information deal with a drug dealer who was under federal investigation.  The dealer was likely a cooperating witness for the government, but at this point there is no information to rule out that he/she was an undercover law enforcement officer.

After a well-documented back and forth that was memorialized on Facebook messenger, the trooper agreed to provide sensitive information to the alleged dealer for $1,800 cash.  The cash was marked and then placed behind a Hagerstown motel dumpster by undercover FBI agents.  The FBI continued to monitor the location of the marked cash, and appeared to witness the trooper picking up the money.  There was nothing in the affidavit that stated they specifically identified the trooper as the one who picked up the money, but they did ping his cellphone as being at the location of the dumpster at the time of the pickup.  The trooper and the drug dealer then had a conversation again on Facebook that confirmed he received the money.  Additionally, the drug dealer requested that the trooper run one of his alleged friends through NCIC to see if there was an outstanding warrant, which the trooper agreed to do.  This was probably another attempt to induce the trooper into more unlawful behavior, as misuse of law enforcement databases can be prosecuted.

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technology-2500010__480-300x200According to a recent press release by the Prince George’s County Police Department, thirteen of its own officers have been indicted on charges of theft and misconduct in office.  The indictment was revealed last week at the Prince George’s County Circuit Court in Upper Marlboro.  The defendants in the indictment were mostly experienced members of the police force, as ten were Corporals and one has since retired.  Based on the press release the department began an internal investigation after catching wind that several officers were working for a security company and receiving compensation while on duty at police officers.  The company serviced more that 20 apartment complexes in the county from at least the end of 2019 until February 2021.  The officers were suspended in April of 2021.  Among other allegations, the officers allegedly provided false information to the apartment complexes in order to justify their continue employment.  The total amount that the officers profited is alleged to be between $1,500 and $25,000, which means they are facing felony charges in addition to the misdemeanor charge for misconduct in office.

The department initiated the investigation after another high-ranking officer pleaded guilty to tax evasion several years ago.  In an effort to make sure this type of conduct ends with this indictment, the department has instituted policy changes that began a few months after the officers were suspended.  The policy changes include a blanket prohibition on officers working as security guards, as well as hiring a third-party software company to allow officers to clock out of work before beginning secondary employment.  The internal affairs division of the department will also conduct site investigations of any secondary employment locations that employees disclose, and  these site investigations will be conducted at random.

The officers are charged with theft based on the allegation that they were collecting taxpayer dollars while engaged in private employment.  It’s true that the defendants did not physically steal anything, but their pay from the government was accepted under circumstances where the they were clearly double dipping.  It is still an interesting and fairly uncommon means of charging a theft case, and if the cases go to trial, there may be some arguments that could sway a jury to acquit.  Regardless, state prosecutors seem to be in good shape on the misconduct counts.

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baltimore-1483757__480-300x200A former Baltimore Police Sergeant has been sentenced to almost two years in federal prison for conspiracy to deprive civil rights under 18 U.S. Code § 241.  The sentence was handed down in the Baltimore City federal courthouse this week, more than 6 years after the actual incident.  According to facts presented at plea hearing, the former BPD officer first joined the department in 1992 and became a sergeant in 2011.  During the time when the incident occurred the officer was in charge of a Special Enforcement Section in the department’s Western District.  This area is notorious for a high volume of drug and gang activity, and is home to some of the most dangerous areas of the city.  In March of 2014 while the defendant was working as an officer-in-charge, he received a phone call from another officer who stated that he had just ran over an arrestee in front of a Northeast Baltimore home.  At the time he received the call he was having dinner with a BPD detective.  In a regrettable course of conduct the officer obtained a BB gun from another BPD colleague, drove to the scene of the accident and planted the BB gun in the area where the arrestee had been injured.  The arrestee was actually already in the hospital when the defendant planted the gun.  Additional BPD officers then noticed the BB gun, packaged it as evidence and charged the injured arrestee with possession, use or discharge of a pellet/BB gun.  The arrestee was held without bail for ten months at the detention center before the charges were ultimately dismissed by the State.

While not directly related to the Gun Trace Task Force scandal and subsequent indictments, the defendant’s actions likely came to the attention of law enforcement after the investigation and arrest of numerous GTTF officers.   After the officer who hit the arrestee and six other GTTF officers were arrested the dominoes began to fall, and the former sergeant became nervous about his involvement with the BB gun incident.  He arranged a secret meeting with the same BPD detective he was with when he received the original call about the accident.  The meeting took place at a swimming pool to ensure that neither party was wearing a wire, though in hindsight this only proved the former sergeant’s guilty conscious.  During the meeting the former sergeant attempted to induce the detective to lie to federal investigators by stating that they were both at the scene of the accident for the purpose of scene security. He also told the detective to say that the BB gun was already in the sergeant’s trunk, which was also not true.  It seemed at that point the sergeant already knew he was going down, and had shifted to a mitigation strategy.  In reality this meeting turned out to make matters much worse for the former sergeant, and showed the government that he was not willing to accept responsibility for his actions even after the feds became aware of the BB gun incident.  The defendant likely saved himself a few months in jail by pleading guilty, but based on the evidence there was no way a prison sentence could be avoided.  The case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by the same U.S. Attorney who went after the former mayor of Baltimore City, and who is currently prosecuting the Baltimore City State’s Attorney.

The Blog will continue to follow cases involving public corruption and misconduct in office, and we will post articles as news becomes available.  If you have a question about a criminal law or have been charged with a crime, contact Maryland defense lawyer Benjamin Herbst anytime at 410-207-2598.  Benjamin has successfully represented government employees in charges such as misconduct in office and bribery, and has also represented police officers, correctional officers and public figures in high profile assault and theft charges.  Benjamin accepts cases in all Maryland jurisdictions including the federal courts in Baltimore and Greenbelt.  He is licensed to practice law in Florida, and has extensive experience defending those charged in Miami, Broward and Palm Beach Counties with gun and drug offenses as well as fraud, theft, aggravated assault and battery.

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DUI4-300x300A former high-ranking officer with the Maryland Natural Resources Police has been found guilty of DUI and negligent driving after a plea agreement was reached in the District Court for Worcester County in Snow Hill.  The officer, who was second in command at the NRP, was granted probation before judgement for the DUI count, and received a conviction for the negligent driving count.  Pursuant to the plea agreement, the charges for leaving the scene of an accident with property damage and improper backing were dismissed by the State.  As part of the sentence the former decorated law enforcement officer will be required to complete 100 hours of community service and was placed on 2 years of unsupervised probation.  It appears as though the defendant already completed an alcohol education program, as that was not ordered during sentencing.

According to the facts presented at the plea agreement the former police officer was stopped at a red light near Ocean City when he proceeded to back into another vehicle.  In a regrettable decision, the defendant left the scene, and was later found parked in a lot near Route 113.  When troopers arrived, they detected an odor of an alcoholic beverage and began to administer standardized roadside sobriety exercises.  They soon after arrested the officer and issued him four citations.  By leaving the scene, the former officer was in violation of the Maryland Transportation Article section 20-103, which requires all persons involved in an accident to remain in the area of the accident until they have rendered reasonable aid and exchanged identifying information.  A violation of 20-103 is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail, but the State felt it was appropriate to dismiss this citation as part of the plea.  Instead, it appears they were insistent on prosecuting the negligent driving citation.  Negligent driving carries 1 point or 3 points if the act contributed to an accident, so the former officer will have at least 1 point assessed on his driving record.

Fortunately, the accident appeared to be minor and nobody was injured.  If there had been bodily injury the former officer could have been charged under 20-102, leaving the scene of an accident with bodily injury.  This offense is punishable by up to 1 year in jail unless the accident resulted in serious bodily injury or death.  Leaving the scene of an accident with serious bodily injury is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison, and if a death occurred the maximum penalty jumps to 10 years.  Under these enhanced penalties the state is required to prove the defendant knew or should have known the accident caused serious bodily injury or death.  Maryland is one of a few states that also criminalizes negligent driving without any proof of drug or alcohol impairment.  Almost all vehicle accidents that result in the death of an individual will be forwarded to the State’s Attorney’s Office for review.  If it appears that the at fault driver deviated from the normal standard of care that is expected when on the road, he or she could be charged with a misdemeanor offense of criminal negligence that carries up to 3 years in jail.  The penalty jumps to a 10-year felony  if there is evidence of gross negligence, which could mean racing or weaving in and out of traffic at a high rate of speed.  A defendant who is at fault for an accident involving death and leaves the scene could face punishment on both charges, as they are separate criminal acts.

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concertina-wire-1031773_960_720-200x300Two former Maryland correctional officers recently pled guilty to racketeering conspiracy for their roles in smuggling contraband into the Chesapeake Detention Facility (CDF).   The pleas were entered in the Baltimore City federal courthouse where the pair will be sentenced in a few months.  CDF is the federal pre-trial detention facility where most federal defendants in Maryland who are awaiting trial.  It is a maximum-security facility across the street from Baltimore City Central Booking that houses approximately 500 inmates.  Although it is a federal facility that is controlled by the United States Marshals Service, the jail is run by the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Community Supervision pursuant to a business contract.  The Maryland DPSCS runs all the state correctional facilities and is one of the largest agencies in the state.  The department currently boasts a workforce of approximately 12,000 and a budget of more than $1 billion per year.  Correctional officers at CDF are not federal employees but the jail is considered federal property.  Therefore, offenses committed on the grounds or within the jail are typically prosecuted in federal court.

The first plea took place last week and involved a 35-year-old female officer from Randallstown in Baltimore County.  According to the plea agreement she admitted that beginning in 2017 she smuggled contraband into CDF for multiple detainees, and met with outside facilitators to receive bribe payments and cellphones used to communicate with a specific inmate.  DPSCS investigators eventually caught on to the scheme and had federal agents execute a search warrant of the officer’s home in 2020 where they seized cash, marijuana, cell phones and notes from several CDF detainees.  The second plea took place this week for a 45-year-old officer from Baltimore.  This officer admitted to smuggling liquor into the facility for a detainee and receiving four payments totaling approximately two thousand dollars.  Pursuant to his plea, he also admitted to meeting an outside facilitator to pick up a bag containing suboxone strips and tobacco intended to be smuggled inside CDF the next day.  Unbeknownst to the officer, investigators had already caught on to his involvement with the smuggling operation and the contraband was interdicted by officers in the facility’s parking lot.  The defendant later admitted that the contents of the black bag were intended to be smuggled inside the facility.

Both of the defendants face a maximum of 20 years in federal prison for racketeering conspiracy, though they will serve far less than the maximum.  Both are likely first-time offenders, and based on the limited facts available from the U.S. Attorney’s Office press release their guideline ranges are estimated to be 24 to 30 months.  This is based on an offense score of 19 with a two-level reduction for entering into a plea agreement.  Unless the defendants have agreed to a binding “C” plea, the attorneys will likely argue for downward departures in an attempt to keep active incarceration under two years or possibly even home confinement.  The government takes public corruption cases extremely seriously, and offenses involving correctional employees are no exception.  While nobody was injured during the course of this scheme, the government will almost certainly make the argument that providing cell phones and other contraband to inmates endangered the lives of correctional officers and other inmates.  The defense lawyers must be prepared to address these arguments and to humanize their clients in the eyes of the Court.

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camera-lens-458045_640-300x199Four Pennsylvania teenagers were arrested last week on the Ocean City boardwalk for multiple charges including disorderly conduct, resisting/interfering with arrest, failure to obey and trespassing.  The incident began when police officers confronted a group that was allegedly vaping on the boardwalk, which is illegal pursuant to Ocean City ordinance.  The encounter then unfortunately escalated into a violent scene where a large bike patrol officer was caught on a bystander’s cellphone camera repeatedly kneeing a restrained suspect in the ribs.  The suspect was already in handcuffs and on the ground when the officer began striking him repeatedly.  The same officer then aggressively moved toward another group of bystanders and appeared to initiate physical contact with at least one individual, though the incident did not escalate further.  All four of the teenagers were released on their own recognizance after being seen by the District Court Commissioner.

The video of the incident quickly generated national headlines, and amongst other things, has many in the community calling for the Ocean City Police Department to adopt a body worn camera policy as soon as possible.  Maryland lawmakers recently passed legislation that will require all state law enforcement agencies to adopt BWC policies by July 2025, but many feel this timeline is far too relaxed.  In response to this recent incident of excessive police force, the Office of the Public Defender sent an open letter to the Ocean City mayor and chief of police urging body camera implementation.  The letter states that the public should not have to rely on citizen’s cell phone videos in order to evaluate police interactions.  Body camera is advantageous to both the police and suspects, as it offers the best reenactment of encounters that involve alleged criminal activity.  When police citizen encounters go south, body cameras have the tendency to exonerate good cops and expose bad ones.  There is no logical reason that all law enforcement agencies in the state cannot implement body camera programs within the next year.  This is especially true for well-funded departments such as the Ocean City Police.  Tourism is booming now that COVID-19 is essentially an afterthought in Maryland, and Ocean City is as crowded as ever as we enter the peak season.

The Blog will continue to follow this case and may post a follow-up article if the officer involved ends up being disciplined.  There is certainly ample evidence to show that his use of force was excessive, and it is extremely obvious from the video that this particular officer was seeking further physical confrontation after he finished kneeing the detained teenager.  There is simple no need for police departments to employ individuals who clearly would rather escalate a situation rather than de-escalate.  Working as a beat cop in a crowded area is not an easy job, and it only takes one ill-tempered officer to put a national stain on the entire department.

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police-224426__180Another former member of the Baltimore Police Department’s notorious Gun Trace Task Force has been found guilty of a serious crime in federal court.  The 49-year old veteran officer, who retired earlier this year after 26 years with the BPD, is the 15th member of the task force to face charges for various felonies including robbery, falsifying police reports, theft and public corruption.  This officer was never prosecuted for direct acts of public corruption related to his involvement with the task force, but he could not fully outrun his past transgressions.  Federal agents were not able to bust the officer for selling cocaine that was seized during a drug bust back in 2009, but the feds got the former officer on charges for lying to federal investigators about said cocaine last year during an interview.  It was an interesting turn of events for a man who thought he had avoided what 14 of his former colleagues could not.

According to facts presented at the plea, the former officer was called in by the FBI to answer questions about a major drug bust that occurred in Baltimore City back in 2009.  During this bust, city police officers discovered 44 kilograms of cocaine in a pickup truck after obtaining a search warrant for the home of a suspected large-scale dealer.  The bust was so large that the BPD’s SWAT team was called in to escort a police van to headquarters to lock up the cocaine in an evidence room.  Apparently only 41 kilograms were entered into evidence control and 3 kilograms were left in the transport van.  After being advised that the interview was voluntary and that he could be prosecuted for lying to the federal agents, the former officer proceeded to tell agents that he was unaware that anyone had taken and sold the missing 3 kilograms of cocaine.  The former officer probably didn’t know it at the time, but the agents were likely working on information from a cooperating defendant that he indeed participated in the theft and sale of the missing 3 kilos.  The agents likely did not give the former officer any reason to believe he was the target of their investigation, and he probably casually denied involvement without knowing he had just sealed his own fate.

The FBI obviously had insufficient evidence to prosecute the former officer back in 2009 for stealing and selling the cocaine, and likely did not even know he was part of the theft until recently.  While the statute of limitations most certainly barred prosecution for his involvement in the heist (most federal criminal violations have a 5-year statute of limitations), they were able to stick him with charges for lying about his involvement 10 years later.  In order to induce a guilty plea, the feds likely had reliable witnesses that were more than prepared to testify in court.  These witnesses could have been other officers involved in the task force, including an officer that was found guilty for planting a BB gun in a citizens’ car in order to protect a fellow officer from prosecution.  The officer convicted of the BB gun scam was one of the officers that split the proceeds of the sale of the 3 missing cocaine kilos.  As part of the plea agreement the defendant in this recent case admitted that he received $20,000 for his role in selling the stolen cocaine to a confidential informant.

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hammer-802296__480-300x225In a rather bizarre case, a Maryland State Trooper recently pled guilty to perjury and misconduct in office for falsifying DUI arrests.  The guilty plea was heard in the Baltimore County Circuit Court just a couple of weeks after the trooper was formally charged by the Attorney General’s Office.  It does not appear that the 36-year old trooper was ever arrested, as his case did not originate in the district court as a typical statement of charges.  According to facts presented in the guilty plea the trooper made 6 fake DUI arrests over the course of the last two years.  He authored completely falsified citations and police reports and submitted the same to the District Court Clerk and the State’s Attorney’s Office.  The fake citations and reports turned into actual court cases, and fictitious defendants were summoned to appear for court.  When these ghost defendants did not show up for court the judges ordered bench warrants to issue, and in some cases, officers actually responded to fake addresses to arrest fake people for failing to appear in court.  The trooper, who has been with the MSP for about 10 years, was a corporal in the specialized DUI enforcement unit, which has been lauded for its effectiveness.  The whole situation is even stranger considering the fact that the State Police denies the existence of numerical requirements for DUI arrests.  The trooper, who is currently suspended with pay, may have felt pressure to up his numbers, but there may have been more to this story.

The trooper was charged at the end of July and elected to immediately have his lawyer begin plea negotiations.  The AG’s office did not agree to dismiss either of the two counts pursuant to a guilty plea, but likely did not push too hard for an active jail sentence.  After accepting his guilty plea, the judge sentenced the soon to be former trooper to a suspended jail sentence and supervised probation.  As a condition of his probation the trooper will have to perform 300 hours of community service and pay a $6,000 fine, which is no slap on the wrist.  On the other hand, avoiding jail time and a felony conviction under these circumstances is certainly a victory for the defense.  Had the trooper received some sort of financial gain for his misconduct the result may have been different, but his intentions were not so devious as they were just strange.  The trooper tried to cover his tracks to some extent; all of his fake drunk driving suspects refused their breathalyzer tests, which meant he did not have to include fake breath alcohol test results in the reports.  On the other hand, breathalyzer tests are conducted by a certified breath tech so fabricating these reports would have required an accomplice.  A breath tech being in on this crime would have been one of the few things to make this story more bizarre.

Perjury, which is a misdemeanor with a 10-year maximum penalty, is not a particularly common criminal charge in Maryland because it is difficult to prove a person was lying under oath.  This officer was in a different position due to his sworn police reports and citations being easily proven as fictitious.  We have posted numerous stories about charges involving misconduct in office, and unfortunately there is no shortage of government authority figures breaking the law these days.  It seems like state lawmakers, mayors, city administrators and police officers are routinely appearing as defendants in criminal court, and the media is always there to report on their cases.  The Blog will continue to follow public corruption cases so stay tuned.  Benjamin Herbst is a Maryland criminal defense lawyer who is also licensed to practice in all state and federal courts including Baltimore County, Montgomery County and Anne Arundel County.  Benjamin is also an experienced Florida criminal defense lawyer who specializes in perjury, misconduct in office, drug offenses, gun crimes, theft and fraud.  Call Benjamin anytime for a free consultation at 410-207-2598.

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car-1531277__480-300x200A veteran Anne Arundel County police officer has been arrested and charged with numerous felony offenses for allegedly stealing from the home of a deceased man in Pasadena.  Back in April multiple officers responded to the residence after a report of an unattended death.  The officer in question then returned to the house the next day in full uniform, and according to reports took cash and firearms with him.  A witness observed the officer removing the firearms from the house, but thought it was routine police activity.  The witness never mentioned what he saw until months later when a family member of the deceased homeowner called the department in search of the missing firearms for estate purposes.  The department started asking questions and ultimately came across the witness.

Detectives were probably surprised to learn their prime suspect was one of their own, but nonetheless proceeded to hone in on making an arrest.  Police executed a search warrant on the officer’s home in Linthicum and he was arrested soon thereafter.  The 5-year veteran officer was released on his own recognizance by a district court commissioner after being booked and charged with 6 different offenses including first-degree burglary, felony theft and misconduct in office.  He was also charged with third-degree burglary, fourth-degree burglary and felony theft scheme, and has been placed on leave without pay by the Anne Arundel County Police Department.  There is currently no preliminary hearing date set for the officer’s case, but regardless it will ultimately be forwarded to the Circuit Court for a resolution.

It is too early to tell whether this case will end up going to trial, but if detectives found the firearms during the execution of the search warrant then a guilty plea is almost a foregone conclusion.  While the officer is facing 6 total charges, his attorney will likely argue for the four felonies to be dismissed.  The State will probably push for a plea involving the misconduct in office charge, and one additional theft or burglary charge.  Misconduct in office is a common law offense in Maryland that does not have a set maximum penalty, but it is considered a misdemeanor. Whether the defense can convince the State to go on misdemeanor fourth-degree burglary remains to be seen, as this would ensure the officer does not end up with a felony conviction.

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