Two former Baltimore police officers are facing sentences of up to 60 years in prison after they were convicted on various charges related to their participation in a crooked cop operation that made them hordes of cash at the expense of local drug dealers.
After more than a day and a half of deliberation, a federal jury trying the case of Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor produced guilty verdicts that will translate to extensive time behind bars for racketeering conspiracy, racketeering, and numerous Hobbs Act robbery charges.
Hersl and Taylor are two of eight disgraced officers who have now been dealt justice for collaborating to rob suspects of drugs and money, even after the US Justice Department launched an investigation against the city’s Police Department for civil rights offenses.
According to reports, the disgraced detectives played leading roles in orchestrating the extortion of drug dealers, the jailing of innocent citizens, and the resale of narcotics and guns that were seized off of their targets. The crimes occurred as they operated under the now-defunct Gun Trace Task Force (GTTF).
As the trial progressed, jurors got to hear of such instances as the one that involved the officers taking half of some $200,000 in cash that they found in a safe after forcing their way into a home without a warrant. When it wasn’t cash, at times it was drugs that they took, harbored, and often had sold back to the streets for a profit.
“Their business model eventually didn’t work. You can’t rob people just because they’re drug dealers,” acting US Attorney for the District of Maryland, Stephen M. Schenning, told reporters who were on hand to cover the decision on Monday, February 12.
Hersl and Taylor had pleaded not-guilty to the counts that they were facing. The other six men involved have already pled guilty to similar charges, and four of them testified against Hersl and Taylor in exchange for more lenient sentences.