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Former Philadelphia police officer pleads guilty to conspiring with GTTF officers

Posted at 4:55 PM, Nov 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-02 08:51:53-04

A 34-year-old former Philadelphia Police officer pleaded guilty to conspiring with members of the now disgraced Baltimore Police Department's Gun Trace Task Force in a federal court in Baltimore Thursday.

Eric Troy Snell, of Philadelphia, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine. In his plea, Snell admitted to coordinating with Baltimore Detective Jemell Rayam, a member of the GTTF, to sell heroin and cocaine seized by other members of the group.

Snell began his law enforcement career in Baltimore, being trained at the Baltimore Police Academy with Rayam, according to documents and statements made in court. Snell left the department in March of 2008, becoming an officer in Philadelphia in September of 2014. 

READ MORE: Former BPD detective breaks down while on the stand in GTTF trial

Snell admitted to conspiring with Rayam and others to sell drugs seized by GTTF members between October 2016 and June 26, 2017.

Citing specific instances, on Oct. 3, 2016, Sergeant Wayne Jenkins, the leader of the GTTF, Rayam, and other detectives participated in a high-speed chase with a target referred to as G.H., who through nine ounces of cocaine out of the window of his car during the pursuit before crashing near Mondawmin Mall. After gaining possession of the cocaine, Jenkins told Rayam to sell it and give the Sergeant the proceeds, to which Rayam agreed, according to court records.

When Snell heard of this, he asked Rayam to give him the cocaine, which Rayam did, driving to Philadelphia to drop it off on Oct. 20, 2016. Snell and Rayam met with Snell's brother to sell the drugs, negotiating the price, Snell's eventual cut of the proceeds, and what Snell would give to Rayam. On Oct. 23, 2016, Snell and Rayam negotiated a similar deal to sell heroine that Rayam provided. The two made further arrangements, selling more drugs on different occasions.

When Rayam was arrested on June 26, 2017, Snell spoke with him on a recorded jailhouse line, telling Rayam to "say less" since they could be heard and did not want to divulge their drug trafficking, the press release announcing Snell's plea said.

READ MORE: 7th guilty plea in BPD Gun Trace Task Force case

Snell was arrested and taken to Baltimore on Nov. 14, 2017, admitting he lied to the FBI about payments he made to Rayam when he said they were to cover a debt and not for drugs. When law enforcement searched Snell's house that day, they found a box with cocaine residue, a package of razor blades used to cut and process the drug, and a .40-caliber and 9 mm ammunition, along with a .40-caliber handgun and two unregistered short-barrel assault rifles.

Snell faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on Jan. 30, 2019.

Rayam pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy, including multiple robberies and overtime fraud and is awaiting sentencing.