Baltimore police officer accused of heroin trafficking

July 20, 2011

A Baltimore city police officer has been arrested and charged with leading a heroin distribution operation, including allegations that he arranged drug transactions while on duty and met conspirators in the parking lot of his district station, records show.

The officer, Daniel G. Redd, 41, was taken into custody Tuesday, officials said. Several law enforcement sources said Redd had been under suspicion for years, but city police asked the FBI to investigate within the past six months.

According to records, the ensuing wiretap investigation showed that Redd was at the top of a “significant drug trafficking” organization that “flooded the streets of Baltimore with heroin,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard McFeely said in a statement.

The arrest is the latest black eye for the police department, which in the past six months had more than 50 officers implicated in a kickback scheme involving a towing company. In addition, an on-duty officer was fatally shot by other officers as they responded to a disturbance outside a nightclub.

Police said Redd’s arrest shows that the agency is determined to root out corruption.

“The allegations against Daniel Redd are an affront to and undermine the integrity of the hard-working men and women of the Baltimore Police Department,” Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III said in a statement. “We will not tolerate corruption among our ranks.”

Redd is believed to be the first Baltimore officer charged with having a role in drug trafficking since police officers William King and Antonio Murray were charged in 2005 with shaking down dealers and reselling the drugs on the street. The officers were each sentenced to 100 years in prison.

Despite the investigation into Redd’s alleged activities, he remained on the street making arrests. Court records show Redd is listed as a police witness in several pending cases, including attempted murder and robbery charges against two men.

But according to one source familiar with personnel matters, the department prevented him from ascending the leadership ranks by repeatedly passing him over on the agency’s promotional list.

According to court documents, the drug organization was headed by Redd and a man named Abdul Zakaria, also known as Tamim Mamah. A search warrant affidavit alleges that Zakaria, 34, of Owings Mills and others obtained heroin from suppliers in Africa and distributed heroin to Redd and two other men. Redd is accused of distributing heroin to others.

On his Facebook page, Redd lists “Training Day,” a movie in which Denzel Washington plays a corrupt police officer in Los Angeles, as one of his favorite movies.

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