Two Baltimore police detectives were convicted of racketeering, conspiracy, and robbery Monday in a trial that's part of an ongoing federal investigation into corruption among rogue members of the city's beleaguered police force. After the jury foreman read the verdict following two days of deliberations, Detectives Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor were shackled and led out of US District Court in Baltimore. Some of Hersl's relatives burst into tears as the men were led out, while one of his victims called out: "Justice." The two detectives were each convicted of racketeering conspiracy, racketeering, and robbery under the federal Hobbs Act, which prohibits interference with interstate commerce. They face up to 20 years on each count, for a total of 60 years, per the AP.
The trial was dominated by four ex-detectives who testified that the police force's Gun Trace Task Force was actually made up of thugs with badges who stole cash, resold looted narcotics, and lied under oath to cover their tracks. They detailed acts of astonishing police criminality stretching back to 2008. Much of the testimony during the trial focused on Gun Trace Task Force members who pleaded guilty, including the out-of-control unit's onetime supervisor, Sgt. Wayne Jenkins. He was portrayed as a wildly corrupt officer leading his unit on a tireless quest to shake down civilians and find "monsters"—bigtime drug dealers with lots of loot to steal. It's not clear when Jenkins and the other ex-detectives who pleaded guilty will be sentenced by a federal judge.
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