Seven Baltimore police officers who served in a high-profile gun unit were indicted Wednesday on federal racketeering charges — allegations that throw into question scores of cases aimed at getting weapons off the streets.
The officers are accused of shaking down citizens, filing false court paperwork and making fraudulent overtime claims, all while Justice Department investigators were scrutinizing the department for what they concluded was widespread civil rights violations.
One of the officers was also accused in a separate indictment of participating in an illegal drug organization and tipping its members off to investigations.
U.S. Attorney for Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein said the Drug Enforcement Administration began looking at the officers about a year ago while investigating the drug organization. The probe eventually involved the FBI and electronic surveillance — including a recording device placed in a Baltimore police vehicle.
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