A former Baltimore police officer broke down in tears during his sentencing Tuesday for his involvement in a decade-long crime spree where he and other officers committed home invasions, drug deals and carried toy guns to plant on innocent people they killed.
Jemell Rayam was a member of Baltimore's Gun Trace Task Force which proved to be more ruthless than the gangs they were investigating; a criminal gang in itself despite the pandering title of "elite" bestowed upon them by the media.
His crimes go back a decade to when he was a rookie cop and a supervisor encouraged him to fabricate facts on police reports, according to the Baltimore Sun.
Rayam is the last of the eight cops from the task force to be sentenced since last year but is known as the "second most corrupt" of the gang, according to Fox 5 News. He was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison after admitting to 15 robberies
The gang went unchecked for years until 2015 when the Drug Enforcement Administration intercepted a phone call from a Baltimore police officer who proudly boasted, "I sell drugs," which is what sparked the investigation. Seven task force cops were indicted in February 2017 with another one indicted in August of that year.
"They're 1930s-style gangsters," Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said at a press conference at the time in announcing the arrests when the cops were suspended without pay.
The honor of the most corrupt of the gang goes to Wayne Jenkins, the ringleader who was sentenced to 25 years in June 2018 after pleading guilty earlier that year. He also sobbed during his sentencing after his conviction for racketeering, robbery and falsification of police records.
Detectives Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor refused to take plea deals and pleaded not guilty, banking on their Blue Privilege to get them off but a federal jury convicted them of racketeering and robbery charges. Both were sentenced to 18 years in February 2018.
Sergeant Thomas Allers was indicted in August 2017 and sentenced to 15 years in May 2018. His wife blamed the department for setting him up to fail. They also said he suffered from PTSD and was dyslexic and carried around a dictionary to write his reports in the hopes of humanizing him during his sentencing.
But Allers was incapable of humanizing his victims during the gang's crime spree, including the time he and his cohorts robbed a man of $10,000, leaving him unable to pay off a drug debt, which resulted in his murder, according to WBAL-TV.
Realizing their Blue Privilege had expired, detectives Evodio Hendrix and Maurice Ward agreed to cooperate, testifying against Jenkins. Both received seven years in June 2018.
Then there was Momodu Gondo who calls himself "G-Money" but might as well call himself G-Mouth considering he not only initiated the investigation by boasting in a phone conversation that he was a drug dealer but he also turned on the other cops in exchange for a lighter sentence while most of the other gang members stuck to their code of silence.
Gondo admitted to robbing citizens and selling heroin as well as committing overtime fraud. He has been saying there are many more cops involved who have not yet been implicated but nobody seems bothered to investigate.
He called it all a "learning experience" during his February 2019 sentencing. Most will just call it karma.
Another cop who was not an official member of the task force, Sergeant Keith Gladstone, is expected to plead guilty this week for planting a BB gun at the scene of an incident where ringleader Wayne Jenkins had just run a man over with his patrol car.
The victim, Demetric Simon, was sentenced to prison on gun and drug charges, which was where he was when federal investigators began speaking to him about the police gang.
“I never had no BB gun,” Simon told The Baltimore Sun last year. “I never aimed nothing at him. He ran me over because I was getting away.”
Simon began running because he feared the cops which was their intent as they would frequently speed in their cars towards groups of citizens, slamming on their brakes at the last second, sending people running away in fear, which gave them the excuse to chase and search them.
The Supreme Court, after all, has ruled the Constitution can be superceded in what police describe as "high-crime areas," which are generally poverty-stricken black neighborhoods.
Another former Baltimore cop who was not an official gang member, Matthew Ryckman, resigned from his new job as a federal Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent last year when he confessed to FBI agents that he participated in stealing money and fabricating reports. He remains under investigation and has not yet been charged.
The gang's crimes are so extensive it would take a book to list them all but here's a condensed list compiled by Vox in February 2018 when details were just emerging.
A year after the feds began investigating the gang, the United States Department of Justice published a 164-page report detailing a widespread pattern of corruption and abuse within the department that was not just limited to the gun gang.
In August 2017, The Baltimore Police Department entered into a consent decree with the Department of Justice vowing to remedy the issues
Prosecutors have been reviewing more than 2,000 convictions stemming from arrests the task force made. So far, a judge has overturned 120 cases.
Sean Suiter, a Baltimore police detective who was set to testify against Jenkins in November 2017, was found shot to death by his own gun two days before he was scheduled to take the stand. The death has been ruled a suicide but his family believes he was murdered to keep him from testifying against the dirty cop.
It's not hard to believe when you take a look at the massive amount of corruption within that department over the years excluding this case.
If Suiter was indeed the victim of an internal hit job then there is no way we can expect a legitimate investigation from the Baltimore Police Department.
It would take a federal investigation which seems to be the only thing that works against this agency