Baltimore Police Detectives Evodio Hendrix and Maurice Ward admitted Friday that they robbed people in custody, billed for overtime hours they didn’t work and forged reports to cover their tracks — all part of a conspiracy stretching back at least to March 2015.
The two veteran officers pleaded guilty to racketeering during separate hearings in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. They face seven to nine years in prison under sentencing guidelines, though the judge could choose to impose the maximum 20 years.
Both men will be sentenced in February.
Prosecutors detailed the extent of the conspiracy, saying the detectives robbed people they encountered on the streets, broke into the home of one man to steal $20,000 each, and while vacationing billed the department for overtime.
“Is it true?” U.S. District Court Judge James Bredar asked.
“Yes, sir,” said Hendrix, 32, of Randallstown.
The 36-year-old Ward, of Middle River, came next before the judge.
“If we had a trial on this case, Mr. Ward, could the government prove those facts?” the judge asked.
“Yes,” Ward answered.
The detectives initially pleaded not guilty when they were indicted in February along with the five other members of the Police Department’s Gun Trace Task Force — the entirety of the unit. The elite plainclothes task force was deployed to interrupt Baltimore’s illegal gun trade.
Fallout continues from the indictment. Prosecutors have dropped criminal charges against dozens of people whose cases hinged on the word of the seven accused officers. The indictments also led Police Commissioner Kevin Davis to end plainclothes policing in Baltimore, saying the style encouraged officers to cut corners.
Source: Baltimore Sun / Tim Prudente