On June 27, 2014, Donna Curry answered her door to find two men wearing Baltimore police vests. One of the men said they had a search her property.
“We invited them in thinking they were the police,” Curry said.
After a brief search, the men left the South Baltimore home with $20,000 in cash. Curry had previously borrowed the money to pay her taxes. Unbeknownst to the Morrell Park woman, she had just become another victim of a robbery scheme that was allegedly organized by a unit of the Baltimore Police Department.
“I hollered and told my husband my pocketbook’s missing,” Curry told The Baltimore Sun. “He ran into the kitchen and my pocketbook was in the sink, wide open, with the money gone.”A police report was filed and Curry picked the alleged robbers from a photo lineup. She provided police with a recorded statement. She was told that internal affairs would contact her, but they never did, Curry said.
Several follow up calls were made, with no response, said Jeffrey Shore, Curry’s husband.
For three years, she frequently thought about the robbery, which had gone unsolved for almost three years. On Thursday, a grand jury indictment was unsealed charging two defendants and connecting the robbery to a racketeering case against some members of the Gun Trace task Force. The unit was deployed to intervene on the growing illegal gun trade in Baltimore.
Jemell Rayam, a Baltimore police detective, allegedly devised the robbery plan, drove an acquaintance and his cousin to the Curry home, gave the Baltimore police vest and stood watch, according to the indictment.
Rayam is being held in jail without bond.
The indictment named 41-year-old David Rahim, of Baltimore and 38-year-old Thomas Finnegan, of Easton, Pennsylvania as defendants.
In February, six other detectives in the Gun Trace Task Force were indicted on federal racketeering charges. They allegedly extorted vulnerable citizens, falsified report and collected fraudulent overtime payments. All of the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.