Gun Trace Task Force Ringleader Sentenced to 25 Years in Federal Prison

The ringleader in the Gun Trace Task Force corruption case was sentenced Thursday to 25 years in federal prison.

Wayne Jenkins pleaded guilty in January to two counts of racketeering, two counts of robbery and five counts related to planting drug evidence. He admitted to robbing detainees seven times between 2011 and 2016, taking $252,000 in cash. U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake split the difference between the 30 years prosecutors sought and the 20 defense attorneys asked for. She refused a more lenient sentence, however, citing, in part, Jenkins’ role in the drug trade.

“He’s admitted to … putting poison in our community when he should have been protecting the community … deterrence is important,” U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake said at sentencing.

Jenkins tearfully apologized at the hearing.

“I am so sorry, your honor, so sorry to the citizens of Baltimore,” he said. “I know it’s my fault. I know I have to be punished.”

Jenkins also apologized to the family of Elbert Davis Sr., who was killed in a 2010 crash that followed a pursuit started by him and two other officers.

“I wish I could take that day back and not have stopped that vehicle,” he said.

Jenkins also indicated that another officer planted drugs in that case, but named no names.

In a separate hearing Thursday afternoon, former detective Marcus Taylor was sentenced to 18 years in federal prison. He was convicted by a federal jury in February, and maintained his innocence in lengthy comments to the judge. He vowed to fight his conviction.

Jenkins joined the department in 2003 and was promoted to sergeant in 2013. In 2016, he was named the officer in charge of the since-disbanded Gun Trace Task Force. In a plea agreement, Jenkins admitted he worked with other officers to steal money, property and drugs by detaining victims, entering homes, conducting traffic stops and swearing out false search warrant affidavits. He submitted false incident and arrest reports, reports of property taken in arrests, and charging documents. One false report in 2010, with planted evidence, led to the conviction and imprisonment of two Baltimore men.

He also admitted to stealing four to five boxes containing approximately 12 pounds of high-grade marijuana intercepted by law enforcement from the mail, and prescriptions he stole from someone who looted a pharmacy in the April 2015 riots. He admitted giving stolen drugs, including cocaine and heroin, to bail bondsman Donald Stepp, who sold the drugs and shared $200,000 to $250,000 in proceeds with Jenkins.

In January, Stepp pleaded guilty to drug charges. Prosecutors said the pair used a shed at Stepp’s Middle River home as a stash house. Stepp faces at least 10 years in federal prison.

Jenkins shielded his identity by telling detainees and arrestees that he was a federal task force officer, and told co-defendants to identify him as the U.S. attorney. When he learned colleagues Momodu Gondo and Jemell Rayam were under investigation, he shared that information with his co-defendants. When Jenkins and six other officers in the case were held in Howard County Detention Center, he told them to “keep their mouths shut” and “stick to the story,” or words to that effect, prosecutors said.

He also admitted to routinely submitting false overtime reports, defrauding police and the state.

“Every day, it still hurts that my parents were taken from me in the fatal car crash, and my mother barely survived that crash, and seven years later, we found out that corrupt cops who swore to protect and serve were nothing more than criminals,” said Shirley Johnson, Davis’ daughter.

It was not immediately known where Jenkins will serve his federal prison sentence; it could be far from Maryland. An attorney for Jenkins said Jenkins was beat up recently in a local jail by a fellow inmate who knew he was a police officer.


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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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