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U.S. attorney accuses ex-Baltimore officers of lying to FBI

Robert K. Hur, U.S. States Attorney for the District of Maryland, announces federal honest services wire fraud and bribery charges against former State Del. Cheryl D. Glenn Monday, Dec. 23, 2019 in Baltimore. Behind him are Assistant U.S. Attorneys Leo Wise, left, and Derek Hines, right. (Amy Davis/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

Robert K. Hur, U.S. attorney for the District of Maryland. (Amy Davis/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

Two former Baltimore police officers face trial in federal court for having allegedly lied to U.S. law enforcement in connection with their purported plan to sell cocaine seized during a drug arrest they helped conduct in the city 11 years ago.

According to charges brought by the Maryland U.S. attorney, Victor Rivera and Ivo Louvado falsely denied their involvement in drug dealing when they were interviewed in 2018 or 2019 by FBI agents conducting an investigation of corruption in the Baltimore Police Department, including its disbanded and disgraced Gun Trace Task Force.

According to U.S. Attorney Robert Hur’s charging documents, Rivera and Louvado participated in a valid search of the Ellamont Street residence of a suspected cocaine dealer in February 2009. Officers found no drugs at the home but located a car key that could activate a vehicle’s alarm.

A touch of the key alerted police to a pickup truck outside, from which they  seized 44 kilograms of cocaine – a quantity so large the officers needed to load it into a police department surveillance van and have a SWAT team escort them back to headquarters, according to charging documents Hur filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

However, officers mistakenly removed only 41 kilograms from the van and held that quantity as evidence, Hur stated.

Rivera and Louvado subsequently found the three kilograms and, rather than add the cocaine to the evidence pile, they planned to sell it, Hur alleged.

Rivera subsequently sold the cocaine to one of his confidential informants and split the $30,000 proceeds by keeping $20,000 for himself and giving $10,000 to Louvado, Hur alleged.

The alleged drug deal – for which the officers were never charged — was raised during the FBI’s Gun Trace Task Force-related conversations with Rivera and Louvado, but they did not tell the federal agents the truth, according to Hur’s charging documents.

If convicted of lying to federal law enforcement, Rivera and Louvado would face up to 10 years in prison, Hur’s office stated.

Hur charged Rivera via the filing Wednesday of an information, or charging document, in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. The U.S. attorney had filed a similar charging document against Louvado last month.

Louvado’s attorney, Baltimore solo practitioner Brian J. Murphy, did not return a telephone message seeking comment on the allegations Wednesday afternoon.

An attorney has not yet put in an appearance for Rivera, according to the federal court’s website.

The cases are United States v. Ivo Louvado, No. 1:20-cr-00098-CCB, and United States v. Victor Rivera, No. 1:20-cr-00127-CCB.

 


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