Sgt. Wayne Jenkins, Det. Marcus Taylor sentenced to federal prison in GTTF case

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Sgt. Wayne Jenkins (left) and Det. Marcus Taylor.

Sgt. Wayne Jenkins, the ringleader of the Gun Trace Task Force that for years robbed citizens, planted evidence and falsified reports and overtime, and one of his detectives, Marcus Taylor, were sentenced today to federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

Jenkins received a sentence of 25 years, and Taylor received a sentence of 18 years.

Earlier this year, Jenkins pleaded guilty to counts of racketeering, robbery, falsifying reports and “deprivation of rights under color of law.”

In his plea, Jenkins admitted to taking part in seven robberies, stealing bikes from the city’s dirt bikers and then reselling him, and stealing drugs apprehended by law enforcement and from drug dealers to then sell on the streets, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland announced today.

The drug thefts included 12 pounds of marijuana intercepted by law enforcement in the mail, prescription drugs taken from looters during the 2015 riots on the day of Freddie Gray’s funeral and cocaine, marijuana and heroin taken from detainees. Bail bondsman Donald Stepp, a cooperating witness who sold the drugs and split the proceeds with Jenkins, said the sergeant received between $200,000 and $250,000.

In one incident, Jenkins planted evidence and wrote a falsified report after officers chased a man, who then crashed his car, killing another man, Elbert Davis. Both men in the car officers were pursing, Omar Burley and Brent Matthews, were imprisoned and later exonerated.

It was Det. Sean Suiter, who died mysteriously in November 2017, who responded to the scene and discovered the drugs that were planted in their vehicle, and were cited as evidence to arrest both men.

Jenkins also routinely submitted false time sheets.

“On these reports, Jenkins falsely certified that he worked his entire regularly assigned shifts, when he did not, and that he worked additional hours for which he received overtime pay, when he had not worked all and in some cases any of those overtime hours,” federal prosecutors said. “Jenkins also admitted that he submitted false and fraudulent overtime reports on behalf of his co-defendants.”

When federal investigators started investigating the corruption of the Gun Trace Task Force, Jenkins alerted his co-defendants. And when they were apprehended in Howard County, he directed them to “keep their mouths shut” and “stick to the story,” or something to that effect, prosecutors said.

According to reporters present in the courtroom, Jenkins tearfully apologized for his conduct.

Unlike most of the eight-man Gun Trace Task Force, Taylor was one of two members to elect for a trial. Taylor and Det. Daniel Hersl were convicted in February on racketeering, robbery and other charges.

“It was proven at trial that Hersl and Taylor stole money, property, and narcotics by detaining victims, entering residences, conducting traffic stops, and swearing out false search warrant affidavits,” federal prosecutors said in a release. “In addition, the defendants prepared and submitted false official incident and arrest reports, reports of property seized from arrestees, and charging documents.”

According to WBAL-TV’s Jayne Miller, Taylor maintained his innocence in court today.

Sgt. Thomas Allers was the first convicted member of the Gun Trace Task Force, having received a 15-year sentence last month. Two more, Evodio Hendrix and Maurice Ward, are scheduled to be sentenced tomorrow. Hersl is set to be sentenced on June 22. Sentencing dates for detectives Jemell Rayam and Momodu Gondo have not been announced.

This story has been updated.

Brandon Weigel

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