Officers had sex with informants, police say Two Arundel detectives face departmental charges

June 18, 1993|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,Staff Writer

Two undercover county police narcotics officers have been charged administratively with having sex with their confidential informants for the past several months, police sources confirmed.

Detectives Tom Torrence and Dennis Freeburger both have been charged with conduct unbecoming an officer and violating departmental rules, the sources said. The officers are among a dozen narcotics officers being investigated by the department's Internal Affairs Unit on allegations they had sex with three women who worked as informants for the police department in drug cases, according to the sources.

One of the detectives facing departmental charges allegedly had sex with a 19-year-old Glen Burnie woman, the other with a 24-year-old Glen Burnie woman. It was unclear, however, which officer was involved with which informant.

Police spokesman Officer Terry Crowe said he could not confirm or deny the charges.

Neither Detectives Torrence nor Freeburger returned telephone calls yesterday.

Police officials said they began their investigation in April after the department received complaints that undercover narcotics officers were having sex with informants on and off duty.

The sources said, the probe began when a narcotics officer at Northern District station got a tip from a federal agent who had been told by an informant that county officers were sleeping with their informants.

The county narcotics officer went to his supervisor who informed Chief Robert Russell, the sources said.

The sources said narcotics officers served a search warrant at the home of the 24-year-old woman and charged her with possession of drug paraphernalia and cocaine. The woman then told the Northern District officer of her relationship with the undercover officer who was charged administratively.

If the officers are found guilty, their punishment is at the discretion of the chief. It could range from fines to being fired.

Anne Arundel's police department has been plagued by sexual misconduct charges for more than a year.

Since February 1992, nine women have filed sexual harassment charges against five officers in the county.

A county police civilian station attendant was fired and an evidence technician resigned after complaints of sexual misconduct were lodged against them last month, police sources said.

Four months ago, a woman who said a former county officer raped her during a traffic stop, filed a $70 million lawsuit alleging that police were so tolerant of sexual harassment that it endangered women throughout Anne Arundel County.

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