Victims of the BPD Gun Trace Task Force officers take the stand

Posted at 1:58 PM, Jan 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-31 17:25:29-05

The prosecution continues to make its case against Detectives Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor in the Baltimore Police Department's Gun Trace Task Force corruption trial.

The government called two victims of the officers to the stand. Orese Stevenson talked about how he was stopped and arrested for drugs. 

He testified that Sgt. Wayne Jenkins and other officers took jeys and went into his house for a "sneak and peek."

Officers found a safe and cocaine. According to testimony, there was about $300,000 in the house and 10 kilograms of cocaine. The officers only submitted $100,000 and 8 kilograms of cocaine in to evidence. 

Stevenson's girlfriend testified a watch and clothes were missing and the motion sensors on the house alarm were ripped off the walls. 

She says she was forced to stay in the living room for eight hours while the officers were in the house. They showed her a piece of paper they say was a search warrant.

Another man took the stand and said the Gun Trace Task Force officers pulled up to his storage unit. They took a sock full of drugs and cash. He referred to Sgt. Jenkins as a "bulldog" and said "they came at me like a gang or something."

He testified that they took about $2,000. When asked by the defense if he tried to claim that money he said no. 

"I didn't understand it so I just took it for a loss."

After the lunch break, the prosecution called another victim of the Gun Trace Task Force. Ronald Hamilton of Westminster says the officers targeted him in July of 2016 at a Home Depot.

He testified they searched his home without a warrant and said they were federal officers who had him under surveillance.

Hamilton had served time but says he'd been making an honest living since 2013. He said the officers restrained him while they looked around but they didn't find any drugs.

When the prosecutor asked what would've happened if Hamilton tried to leave he said, "They would probably beat the (expletive) out of me."

Hamilton said Sgt. Jenkins threatened to plant drugs in his yard if he didn't tell him the name of another dealer they could rob. They left Hamilton's house with $28,400.

"They thought I was another person they could get," Hamilton said. He said he still doesn't know why he was targeted.

Former Detective Jemell Rayam gave Hamilton his card during the search. Hamilton said he texted Rayam saying "you robbed me" but never received a response.

Hamilton got emotional and angry on the stand as the defense attorneys questioned his credibility.

In expletive laced testimony he said, "Everyone's life is destroyed because of this. They came in to my house and destroyed my life."

The trial is expected to last another two to three weeks and the jury will determine whether Hersl and Taylor used the protection of their badge to rob and extort Baltimore citizens.

At least four other detectives from the Gun Trace Task Force have already pleaded guilty and three of them have already taken the stand. 

Monday, the Assistant U.S. Attorney told the judge the government may rest its case by the end of the week.