A federal jury found detectives Daniel T. Hersl and Marcus R. Taylor guilty on the charges of racketeering conspiracy, racketeering, and robbery. The two were members of the Gun Trace Task Force, a unit that has been under investigation for its connection to a series of robberies, planting fake guns and drugs, and racking up thousands in unearned overtime. “Their business model was that the people that they were robbing had no recourse — who were they going to go to? That’s what [the officers] were counting on,” acting U.S. Attorney Stephen Schenning said after the verdict.
Hersl and Taylor could receive a sentence of 60 years in prison.
Four officers formerly on the task force, who previously pled guilty to charges, testified on behalf of the government. In their testimonies the officers identified Hersl and Taylor in connection to several of the unit's heists. In one, Taylor participated in the robbery of $100,000.
“We recognize that this indictment and subsequent trial uncovered some of the most egregious and despicable acts ever perpetrated in law enforcement,” Baltimore Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa said.
With this new verdict, eight officers in total have either been found guilty or pled guilty to charges related to the Gun Trace Task Force's actions. Three civilians have also pled guilty in connection to the case. The federal investigation is ongoing, but prosecutors wouldn’t say if they were planning on making any additional indictments.
According to De Sousa, the police department created a new unit “that will focus, specifically, on this case and the allegations that were made, but were not part of the indictment or prosecution.”