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Philadelphia police officer indicted in Baltimore drug plot

The Associated Press — By KASEY JONES - Associated Press

BALTIMORE (AP) — A Philadelphia police officer has been charged in an alleged plot to sell drugs seized during police operations in Baltimore, where he had previously been an officer, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

Officer Eric Troy Snell's arrest at his Philadelphia home makes him the ninth officer indicted in a corruption probe into activities of the Baltimore Police Department's Gun Trace Task Force, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Baltimore said.

Snell, who prosecutors said was formerly a Baltimore police officer, is charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine. It could not be determined if he has a lawyer.

Snell has been suspended for 30 days, "with intent to dismiss," a spokesman for the Philadelphia Police Department said in a statement Tuesday.

According to court documents, Snell met Jemell Rayam at the Baltimore police academy. They kept in contact after Snell joined the Philadelphia department in 2014. Rayam remained on the Baltimore force as a detective.

Snell, Rayam and Snell's brother conspired to sell drugs seized during police operations in Baltimore, the indictment alleges. In October 2016, court documents said, Rayam and other Baltimore police officers chased a driver who threw nine ounces of cocaine out of his car's window.

One of the officers told Rayam to sell the cocaine instead of putting it into a police evidence room, the court documents said. Rayam, Snell and Snell's brother met at Snell's home in Philadelphia to plan the sale of the cocaine, authorities said.

Rayam was arrested in the investigation in June. Prosecutors said Snell spoke with Rayam on a recorded line in jail and denied that his brother had told authorities about the drug trafficking.

Snell told Rayam that he would keep an eye on Rayam's children; Rayam took that to be a threat, prosecutors said.

Rayam pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy last month.

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