Two Anne Arundel County narcotics detecives were convicted early today of theft, conspiracy, misconduct in office and related charges by a county circuit court jury in the theft of $1,000 during a January drug raid.
The two, Sgt. John Mosley III and Detective James Goddard, could face up to 58 years in prison when they are sentenced Aug. 5.
Detectives crowding the courtroom groaned when the verdicts were read at 1:45 a.m., after nine hours of deliberation. Mosley and Goddard left the courtroom without commenting, but received words of encouragement and back-slaps from their colleagues.
Police Chief William S. Lindsey, who stood vigil with his men throughout the evening, maintained there was no "criminal intent" in his officers' actions. "It's a tough damn thing," he told detectives gathered outside the courtroom. "It's not over till it's over. There are appeals." Mosley's attorney Robert Cahill said "motions" would be filed.
Mosley and Goddard were arrested as they attempted to break up a fake drug deal set up by state police in a hotel at Baltimore-Washington International Airport on Jan. 4. The detectives admitted they took $1,000 from the suspect's briefcase, but said they did so only to check serial numbers on the currency.
Mosley, 38, a 17-year veteran of the police force, has headed the major offenders unit of the narcotics section for the last five years. Goddard, 26, with eight years in the police department, has served in that unit for three years. They were reassigned to administrative duties after their arrest.
The two officers and four colleagues went to the International Hotel after an informant -- who actually worked for the state police -- told them a major cocaine dealer was staying there. While the others watched the "suspect" in the hotel restaurant, Mosley and Goddard entered his hotel room and discovered a briefcase containing $9,400 and a large quantity of a substance that looked like cocaine. They removed ten $100 bills, and left the room.
An hour and a half later, the county detectives raided the room and arrested the occupants. They then raided the adjoining room, and were arrested by state troopers who had set up videotaping equipment there. The two detectives were charged with breaking and entry, theft, conspiracy and misconduct in office.
Goddard and Mosley argued in court that they had taken the $1,000 only to check serial numbers. County police and U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency officials agreed that Mosley had called county police officials and DEA officials to check serial numbers about 20 minutes after the money was taken.
But Maryland Assistant Attorney General Dale P. Kelberman, who prosecuted the officers, argued that the numbers were telephoned in only after the officers became suspicious. He questioned why they did not continue their room search after they discovered the money, or why they did not remove all the money and the cocaine.