Baltimore Gun Task Force Officers Kidnapped Couple and Stole $20,000 From Their Home

Carroll County woman is suing members of a rogue Baltimore Police Department unit, the first civil claim since the officers were indicted over a series of robberies and extortions.

The complaint filed in Baltimore Circuit Court by Nancy Hamilton seeks at least $900,000 in damages, and the city has appointed lawyers to defend the officers. With other attorneys exploring similar legal claims, taxpayers are on the hook for legal fees and potential damages awarded in the civil courts.

While running errands with her husband in Baltimore County, Hamilton was pulled over by men in police vests who put them in handcuffs, placed them in separate vehicles and took her husband into a darkened old school building for an hour, according to the lawsuit and federal prosecutors. Hamilton said she thought she had been abducted by police impersonators.

The officers later drove the couple to their Carroll County home and allegedly pocketed more than $20,000 in cash.

Two Baltimore detectives plead guilty to racketeering charges, face up to nine years in prison
The four officers named in the complaint are among eight members of the Baltimore Police Department’s elite Gun Trace Task Force who have been charged with racketeering and other federal crimes. Two of the eight have pleaded guilty. Two others are expected to plead guilty in coming weeks, including two of the officers named in Hamilton’s complaint. The rest have pleaded not guilty. .

Hamiton’s allegations involve an incident documented in detail in the March indictment and partially captured by wiretaps. Taken together, they provide new insight into how far some officers allegedly went in pursuit of their targets.

Wiretaps captured the supervisor of the unit instructing another officer to tell the Hamiltons he was a federal prosecutor, according to the federal indictment, while both the complaint and indictment say Ronald Hamilton was interrogated inside the former Pimlico Middle School building, which is used as the police training academy facility. The Police Department refused to discuss whether the facility is regularly used for interrogations.

“They never cut on any of the lights,” Hamilton’s attorney, James Rhodes, said in an interview.

Attorneys hired by the city to represent the officers in the civil case declined to comment.

The four officers named in the complaint are Detective Jemell Rayam, Detective Momodu Gondo, Sgt. Wayne Jenkins and Detective Daniel Hersl.

On July 8, 2016, Rayam applied for and received a search warrant of the Hamiltons’ Carroll County home using information federal authorities now say was falsified. The affidavit claimed that Rayam, Gondo and Jenkins had conducted a full day of surveillance on Ronald Hamilton, but prosecutors say Gondo and Rayam were at their homes when they claimed to be watching him.

“He [Jenkins] gave the order; we’re pulling them over,” Rayam was recorded saying around 3 p.m., according to the indictment. “We pull them over, bring them back to the academy. That’s per Sergeant Jenko,” he said, allegedly referring to Jenkins.

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