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U.S. judge orders BPD officer charged with drug trafficking to be held until trial

U.S. District Court in Baltimore
Posted at 3:21 PM, Jul 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-14 15:21:36-04

BALTIMORE  — A Baltimore police officer charged with giving a motorcycle gang a "ghost gun" in exchange for drugs will be detained until his trial, after a hearing today in federal court.

Steven Umberto Angelini, 41, of Middle River, is accused of helping the Infamous Ryders Motorcycle Club sell cocaine and oxycodone from two Overlea-area businesses, the Coach House bar and Killa Dogz hot dog stand on Belair Road.

Prosecutor Leo Wise told U.S. Magistrate Judge A. David Copperthite that "this is actually some of the worst conduct I have seen" among police officers facing federal charges; he mentioned the corrupt Gun Trace Task Force.

Prosecutor Christine Goo noted the motorcycle club "has been in the news recently" and attacked a victim with an axe and a gun. She told the judge:

[Angelini] is arming this known gang, as a police officer, with an untraceable firearm.

But Angelini's attorney said her client became addicted to opiates after being prescribed them for an injury he suffered while chasing a robbery suspect. She said he hasn't had active police powers since 2019, and has basically served as a greeter, working at the front desk of the Western district police station.

She said his life is "unfortunately consistent with what we have seen, both in this court and in the media," among people addicted to opiates.

Angelini, whose parents were in the courtroom, has struggled with drug addiction and voluntarily went to rehab in Havre de Grace, before returning to work in the Western district, said his lawyer.

"This is very, very different" from the cases of the Gun Trace Task Force officers, she said.

What he really needs is substance abuse treatment... [His life took] a very, very unfortunate turn for the worse after an injury.

The judge admitted: "That was one of the most compelling cases for release I have seen" in a police officer's case.

He nevertheless ordered Angelini to continue to be detained until his trial.

Judge Copperthite said his decision was largely based on the fact that a gun - an untraceable gun at that - was involved.

There is nothing more dangerous than drug dealers with firearms in this community.