GUILTY: Third Baltimore Officer pleads guilty in fraud case
BALTIMORE (WBFF)-- A third Baltimore police officer has entered a guilty plea in federal court, admitting to robbing and illegally detaining residents and billing for overtime hours not worked.
Jemell Rayam plead guilty in a federal courtroom on Tuesday. He and seven other officers, part of an elite gun squad, were federally indicted on racketeering charges stemming from allegedly unlawfully arresting and robbing people, and participating in an overtime fraud scheme.
According to his plea agreement, beginning in 2009, Rayam robbed civilians he detained and in some cases arrested and stole money and drugs from them. Federal officials say, Rayam shared the proceeds with co-defendants Momodu Gondo, Wayne Jenkins, Daniel Hersl, Marcus Taylor, and others, and on other occasions, he kept all of the proceeds for himself.
Rayam also sold, through associates of his, drugs that Jenkins stole from detainees and arrestees, gave them to Rayam, and split the proceeds of those sales with his co-defendant.
Two other officers so far have pleaded guilty to federal charges and a fourth officer is slated to appear in court on Thursday to change his not guilty plea, according to the officer's attorney, Warren Brown.
Federal officials say Rayam participated in 15 robberies from June 2014 through October 2016. Rayam admitted that he was armed with his BPD service firearm during the robberies, that individual victims of the robberies were physically restrained to facilitate the commission of the offense, and that he authored false and fraudulent incident reports and other official documents in some cases in order to conceal his criminal conduct and otherwise obstruct justice.
The case has had a profound impact on criminal cases, the Baltimore City State's Attorney's office says 295 cases have been impacted as a result of the indictments.
Rayam faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Baltimore City police spokesman Chief T.J. Smith said, "Jemell Rayam separated from the agency on July 31, 2017. He had been on a suspended without pay status since he was indictment."
Read the full release from the U.S. Attorney's office here.