Baltimore Detectives Found Guilty in Racketeering Scheme

A federal jury on Monday handed down a guilty verdict to two Baltimore police detectives accused of using their badges to shake down city residents. Prosecutors said detectives Daniel T. Hersl, 48, and Marcus R. Taylor, 31, both members of the department’s Gun Trace Task Force, stole huge amounts of money from both admitted drug dealers and citizens who had not committed any crimes. They were found guilty of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, and robbery. Acting Police Commissioner Darryl De Sousa said the case revealed “some of the most egregious and despicable acts ever perpetrated in law enforcement.” In one case, Taylor helped steal $100,000 from a man’s safe while police officers searched his home, prosecutors said. Hersl was also charged with taking part in a robbery of a man and his wife who had been detained without committing any crime. Hersl and Taylor, two out of eight former task force members charged in the corruption scandal, face up to 60 years in prison. The six others pleaded guilty and face prison terms ranging from 20 to 40 years.