Prosecution, defense rest in the Gun Trace Task Force corruption trial

BALTIMORE - The defense only called three witnesses before resting its case in the Gun Trace Task Force corruption Trial. Detective Daniel Hersl's attorney called two witnesses. Marcus Taylor's attorney called one. 

Neither Hersl or Taylor took the stand. 

Closing arguments are scheduled for tomorrow at 11 a.m. The jury could have the case by Thursday.

Earlier Tuesday, after 8 days of testimony the prosecution rested its case.

The prosecution called more than 30 witnesses. The last witness was Officer James Kostoplis who was assigned to the Gun Trace Task Force in October of 2016. He testified that after Sgt. Wayne Jenkins returned from leave in January of 2017, he took him for a ride with Detective Hersl.

Officer Kostoplis said Jenkins and Hersl drove to a side street near Baltimore Police Headquarters and told him to leave his cell phone and radio in the car.

They got out of the car and Sgt. Jenkins asked him what he thought of tailing drug dealers and then taking their money and drugs.

Kostoplis testified that he said , "No, it's a terrible (expletive) idea. You can't have a badge on your chest and do that...." He added that's what separates us from the criminals. 

He said Jenkins and Hersl agreed before they all returned to headquarters.

Officer Kostoplis was transferred out of the Gun Force Trace Task Force by February of 2017.  Sgt. Jenkins approved the transfer shortly after that ride. 

Officer Kostoplis testified that he thought the conversation was a test. 

He reported that conversation to the FBI on the day of the arrests on March 1, 2017.

Special Agent Erika Jensen with the FBI in Baltimore finished her testimony for the Government Tuesday morning. She ran the Gun Trace Task Force investigation. 

She was cross examined by the defense and testified she never got video or players account evidence from Horseshoe Casino in Baltimore where Hersl was known to play. 

She said she needed a Baltimore Police liaison and, "Frankly, we were afraid to give officers' names to them."

During redirect from the prosecution, she was asked if she became aware of multiple leaks to the defendants about her investigation into the Gun Trace Task Force before they were arrested.

She responded yes, "much before March 1, 2017."

Jensen also testified that in the fall and winter of 2017 as they were closing in, Sgt. Wayne Jenkins took 90 days of leave. 

Jenson was also asked why her team didn't do a lot of in-person surveillance of the detectives. She said because as fellow police, they were trained at spotting surveillance. Jensen said they were "burned" when Detective Momodu Gondo spotted Federal Agents near his home.

 

 

 

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