Former BPD detective from Joppa found guilty in corruption case

Hersl TaylorJurors on Monday evening found former Baltimore Police Department detectives Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor guilty on on racketeering charges in connection with the BPD’s Gun Trace Task Force.

The jury got the case on Thursday and deliberated for a day and a half before returning today’s decision.

Federal prosecutors alleged that Hersl, from Joppa, and Taylor, from Glen Burnie, robbed individuals, dealt drugs, and tried to cover it up.

The 6-count indictment alleged that Hersl and Taylor engaged in 13 robberies, extortion, and time & attendance fraud. According to the indictment, beginning in 2011, the defendants stole money, property, and narcotics by detaining victims, entering residences, conducting traffic stops, and swearing out false search warrant affidavits.

Hersl and Taylor had both pleaded not guilty in the case. Six other former officers have entered guilty pleas, and four testified for the prosecution.

Jurors heard close to three weeks’ worth of testimony in connection with the case.

Both defendants could now face 20 years or more in prison.

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Pedestrian critically injured in hit-and-run near Parkville

Pedestrian StruckPolice are investigating a hit-and-run crash involving a pedestrian that occurred near Parkville on Tuesday night.

At about 9:20 p.m., a 50-year old woman was in the 7000 block of Park Drive (21234) when she was struck by a vehicle.

The vehicle and driver did not remain at the scene after the crash.

The woman was taken to an area hospital where she is listed in critical condition.

Anyone with information on the vehicle or driver is asked to call police at 410-396-2606.

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Missing 22-year-old found dead in Essex

Omaire AkmalA missing 22-year-old was found dead in Essex on Tuesday evening.

The Baltimore Police Department said that Omair Akmal’s body had been found by investigating officers at just after 5:30 p.m.

He had last been seen on Monday in the 2900 block of Saint Paul Street.

Police had sent our a missing person alert on Tuesday afternoon saying that family and friends were concerned for Akmal’s well-being.

Officials say his death is currently being investigated as a suicide.

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Middle River bail bondsman pleads guilty to selling drugs stolen by police officers

Donald SteppA bail bondsman from Middle River has pleaded guilty to selling drugs that were stolen from citizens by officers with the Baltimore Police Department.

Donald Stepp, 51, pleaded guilty on Friday to possession with the intent to distribute cocaine, heroin, and other controlled dangerous substances.

According to his plea agreement, Stepp operated Double D Bail Bonds and was an associate of former BPD Sergeant Wayne Earl Jenkins. Stepp admitted that from 2015-2017, he obtained significant quantities of narcotics from Jenkins and robbed citizens of their property, including drugs, cash, and watches. Stepp admitted that he participated in robberies with Jenkins and another Baltimore Police Department detective.

To facilitate the robberies and drug trafficking, Jenkins brought Stepp to search locations in Baltimore City and Baltimore County and lied to other law enforcement agencies by saying Stepp was an officer with BPD. Jenkins would come to Stepp’s residence after he had robbed citizens and Stepp would store the stolen drugs in his tool shed.

Stepp then sold the stolen drugs and returned hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash proceeds to BPD officers. Jenkins took a portion of the proceeds from the drug sales and paid other officers in the BPD who participated in the robberies with Jenkins and Stepp.

On December 14, 2017, law enforcement with the Baltimore County Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation executed a search warrant at Stepp’s residence and recovered approximately 423 grams of crack cocaine, 262 grams of cocaine, 14 grams of heroin, 28 grams of MDMA, digital scales, packaging material, a large sum of cash, and several high-value watches.

Jenkins has pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy, one count of racketeering, two counts of robbery, one count of destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in a federal investigation, and four counts of deprivation of rights under color of law.

Stepp faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. United States District Judge Catherine C. Blake has scheduled sentencing for April 6, 2018 at 2 p.m.

 

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