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Baltimore drops more cases due to alleged police misconduct

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BALTIMORE (AP) — The number of criminal cases dropped due to allegations of police misconduct in Baltimore continues to rise, prosecutors said.

The alleged misconduct includes body camera videos that appear to show officers planting evidence and a federal indictment of eight officers on racketeering and fraud charges.

News outlets reported a statement Monday from State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby's office said a total of 125 cases relying on the indicted officers' testimony will be dropped. Prosecutors also said they have dropped or will drop more than 200 cases linked to officers involved in the body-camera incidents if more time isn't granted for additional investigation.

Mosby's office said in all, nearly 850 state criminal cases have been impacted. Baltimore Public Defender's Special Litigation Section head Debbie Katz Levi put her office's estimate at more than 2,000.

The Baltimore Sun reported that the officers are accused of robbing people, filing false paperwork and making fraudulent claims for overtime.

Four of the officers already have pleaded guilty.

An attorney for a fifth officer told The Baltimore Sun that he is expected to plead guilty in court on Wednesday. Sgt. Thomas Allers was charged with stealing more than $100,000 while he supervised the Gun Trace Task Force.

For example, the indictment said that Allers and his adult son, who is not a police officer, took part in a raid in which $66,000 was taken by Allers, his son and two other detectives. Allers' son has not been charged.

Authorities said a man robbed by Allers in another incident was unable to pay a drug debt. Police said the man was killed as a result.

The Sun reported that eight Baltimore officers have been indicted, as well as a Philadelphia police officer who once worked in the city.

A trial is currently set for January for two officers who have pleaded not guilty and a third who has not entered a plea.

The Sun reported that one of the accused offices indicated that he'll fight the charges. In court documents filed Monday, an attorney for Detective Daniel Hersl said he will contend that taking money was legally justifiable and, if pocketed, was theft and not robbery.

William B. Purpura, an attorney for Hersl, wrote in a motion that "whether Mr. Hersl's conduct amounted to robbery, extortion, or theft will be the central issue for the jury to decide"

All nine of the accused are in jail while awaiting sentencing or trial.

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