The Latest: Feds drop 5 cases brought by arrested officers

BALTIMORE (AP) — The Latest on seven Baltimore police officers charged with racketeering conspiracy (all times local):

12:35 p.m.

U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein says his office has quietly dropped five criminal cases brought by Baltimore police officers charged with a racketeering conspiracy.

The officers are charged with robbery, extortion and overtime fraud, and are accused of stealing money and drugs from victims, some of whom had not committed crimes.

Rosenstein said he was unable to notify the state's attorney's office of the federal investigation until Wednesday. But he says he's confident that local prosecutors will now review more cases involving the arrested officers.


12:20 p.m.

Seven Baltimore police officers who worked together on a firearms crime task force are charged with stealing money, property and narcotics from people over two years.

According to a news release Wednesday from the U.S. attorney's office, the officers were on the police department's Gun Trace Task Force in 2015 and 2016. However, five of the seven are accused of committing some of the crimes earlier in 2015, before they joined the task force. Four of the officers worked together on another police unit before joining the task force.

They're accused of stealing money in amounts ranging from $200 to $200,000.

The officers have been indicted, arrested and suspended without pay.


11:35 a.m.

Seven Baltimore police officers are charged with operating a racketeering conspiracy in which they allegedly stole and extorted money from people. One of the officers is also charged with dealing drugs.

In a news release Wednesday announcing the indictments and arrests of the officers, U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein says the case "is not about aggressive policing, it is about a criminal conspiracy."

The police department says the officers are suspended without pay.

In the news release, Police Commissioner Kevin Davis says the officers' crimes "erode trust with our community." He says that "reform isn't always a pretty thing to watch unfold," but vowed it would continue "in our journey toward a police department our city deserves."


11:25 a.m.

Federal prosecutors say seven Baltimore police officers have been arrested on charges of racketeering, including allegedly robbing people, filing false affidavits and making fake claims for overtime.

A news release Wednesday morning from the U.S. attorney's office says one officer also is charged with drug distribution. Police spokesman T.J. Smith says the officers are suspended without pay.

The U.S. attorney, the FBI, the DEA and Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis plan to discuss the charges at a late-morning news conference.