Two Baltimore detectives convicted of racketeering and robbery

Police detectives Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor were convicted of racketeering and robbery on Monday. Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Two Baltimore police detectives were convicted of racketeering and robbery Monday in a trial that’s part of a continuing federal investigation into corruption among rogue members of the city’s beleaguered police force.

Detectives Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor were shackled and led out of the courtroom after the verdict was read.

Federal jurors deliberated for two days after hearing nearly three weeks of testimony centered on details of police wrongdoing. The jury was released late Thursday afternoon after a few hours and returned to their deliberations Monday morning.

Hersl and Taylor faced robbery, extortion and racketeering charges that could land them up to life in prison. They were convicted of racketeering and robbery under the Hobbs Act, which prohibits interference with interstate commerce, but were cleared of possessing a firearm in pursuance of a violent crime.

Hersl put his head down and shook it as the verdict was read. Taylor had little reaction. Hersl’s family in the gallery wept and his father called out, “Stay strong, Danny.”

William Purpura, Hersl’s lead attorney, said the family was disappointed in the verdict but noted that the jury “did acquit him of one of the more serious crimes.”

The trial in a federal courthouse has been dominated by testimony of four ex-detectives who worked alongside the defendants in an elite unit known as the Gun Trace Task Force.

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Source: The Guardian Online

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