Momodu Gondo, a former city police officer sentenced for his involvement with the Gun Trace Task Force. Photo via Baltimore Police Department.

Momodu Gondo, one of eight indicted former Baltimore cops who pillaged drug dealers, falsified overtime slips and operated a ring selling stolen drugs and guns with the Gun Trace Task Force, was sentenced to a decade in prison this morning.

Gondo had pleaded guilty in October 2017 to one count apiece of racketeering conspiracy and heroin distribution conspiracy, and had previously admitted to his involvement in robberies, drug dealing and other crimes.

Per WBAL-TV’s Jayne Miller, Gondo’s attorney Warren Brown had pushed for a shorter sentence of seven years, citing the former detective’s testimony as a government witness in the trials of his peers.

Gondo, who served with the department from 2005 to 2017, infamously testified that he stole money while on the clock with the late former Det. Sean Suiter in 2008, as well as his former GTTF colleagues Maurice Ward, Jemell Rayam, Jenkins and others over subsequent years. His testimony implicated former Deputy Commissioner Dean Palmere, who’s since retired from the department, in helping to cover up a shooting by Rayam in 2009 (Palmere has denied the allegations), as well as other officers in the city and in Baltimore County.

Stealing was “just part of the culture,” Gondo testified, per The Sun.

Federal investigators began probing the GTTF’s corruption after U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents picked up Gondo on a wiretap in 2015, when they were looking into a drug-dealing scheme led by Antonio Shropshire in Northeast Baltimore.

Per his indictment, Gondo was found to have tipped off Shropshire in March 2016 that DEA agents had placed a tracking device his car, which Shropshire then moved. That summer, Gondo was also found to have been tipping off someone else, Glen Kyle Wells, about police being on to their drug ring, and to have convinced a fellow officer to back off of investigating Wells.

“I got in [the officer’s] butt for you, yo!” he told Wells afterward, per his indictment.

The drugs they had been moving together turned out to be linked to 15 fatal overdoses and 48 non-fatal overdoses in Baltimore and Harford counties.

With the GTTF, Gondo was found to have stolen cash, drugs, guns and more while making stops, oftentimes while using his service weapon. He also submitted false arrest reports and falsified details on charging documents. He, fellow officers and supervisors would often split the proceeds from their robberies.

And while that cash was off the books, he joined others in the GTTF in also profiting off of falsifying overtime slips on taxpayers’ dime. City salary records show that he made more than $100,000 in fiscal 2016, $30,000 more than his annual salary at the time, and nearly $90,000 in fiscal 2015, $23,000 more than his salary that year.

Gondo is one of the last of the original eight indicted officers to be sentenced. Ringleaders Allers and Jenkins received 15 and 25 years, respectively; Maurice Ward and Evodio Hendricks were both sentenced to seven years and Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor, both of whom opted for a jury trial rather than taking a plea deal, were sentenced to 18 years.

Rayam, Gondo’s longtime partner with BPD who also testified against him, is scheduled to be sentenced on March 8.

Ethan McLeod is a freelance reporter in Baltimore. He previously worked as an editor for the Baltimore Business Journal and Baltimore Fishbowl. His work has appeared in Bloomberg CityLab, Next City and...