The police sergeant who ran a plainclothes Baltimore police unit that went rogue and robbed suspects and civilians, sold stolen drugs and guns and falsified hours for years has pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy.
Sgt. Thomas Allers, a 21-year veteran of the Baltimore Police Department, entered his guilty plea in federal court today, admitting to stealing more than $90,000 from civilians and suspects and leading the Gun Trace Task Force during its three-year racketeering ring.
Allers had been charged with nine counts of robbery and extortion. He was indicted in August, separately from the first seven officers who were charged in late March. A copy of his signed plea agreement provided to Baltimore Fishbowl says he pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy, while admitting to participating in the slew of robberies.
In addition to admitting to all nine robberies, Allers also affirmed that he carried his service weapon during each one. Some of the victims had earned their money in perfectly legal fashion, such as two homeowners who, in April 2015, had $6,000 saved up from flipping used cars and from a tax refund. Allers, Dets. Momodu Gondo and Jemell Rayam and a fourth officer stole $5,700 of it, but Allers claimed in an incident report that they only seized $300.
In February 2016, Allers, Rayam and Gondo – all of whom have now pleaded guilty – searched a home in Baltimore County where a suspect was renting a room. Once inside, they handcuffed the owner and their suspect. In his room, they found a handgun and $7,000 in cash, which they seized before Baltimore County police arrived. On the incident report, Allers said they only seized a .22 caliber magnum.
Less than two weeks later, the trio, joined by Det. Daniel Hersl, searched a couple’s home in the city. Inside the woman’s purse they found $200 that her daughter had received for her birthday, $900 in rent money, $300 owed to BGE and another $8,000 from her male partner’s drug proceeds. Allers took more than $7,000 in all, but wrote in the incident report that only $1,624 was seized. While stealing the cash, he’s said to have handed Rayam a cut while uttering, “here is some lunch money.”
The next month, in April, Allers and the other three officers robbed an alleged drug dealer of $10,000 while his children were home. The man was later shot and killed because he couldn’t repay a drug-related debt, according to prosecutors.
Allers tipped off his fellow officers about the federal investigation into their unit, prosecutors say. He was reassigned in June 2016.
The police sergeant collected more than $90,000 in robbery money over three years. To go with that, city records indicate he made more than $93,000 in salary alone during fiscal 2016, not including an additional $27,000 in overtime.
WBAL-TV reports Allers, despite pleading guilty, has not and will not be cooperating with federal investigators. He’s facing up to 20 years in prison.
Allers is the fifth Gun Trace Task Force officer to go down since the March indictments. Hersl, Sgt. Wayne Jenkins and Officer Evodio Hendrix are still awaiting their trials.
A ninth police officer in Philadelphia has also been indicted, and court documents have indicated unnamed other officers were involved as well.
Latest posts by Ethan McLeod (see all)
- Friday Afternoon Headlines: City didn’t follow through on E. 26th Street inspections; Pugh touts drops in crime in WaPo op-ed; and more - January 18, 2019
- Nepenthe Brewing Co.’s experimental beers and innovative pub food are just days away - January 18, 2019
- Friday Morning Headlines: Monitor says BPD’s dysfunction will prolong reforms; Hogan unveils his proposed budget; and more - January 18, 2019