Baltimore police Agent Brian L. Sewell, who was caught in an internal sting operation and convicted by a police panel of planting drugs on a suspect, was officially fired this week from the force, Commissioner Edward T. Norris said yesterday.
Norris said at his monthly news conference that he signed the papers terminating Sewell's employment Tuesday. Sewell, a seven-year veteran, was found guilty last month of misconduct in office charges, stemming from allegations that he arrested and planted fake drugs on an innocent teen-ager last year in a park just west of downtown.
The three-member disciplinary panel recommended that Sewell be fired.
Sewell's firing ends a saga that began last year with the agent's arrest and indictment, followed by a break-in at a secret police internal affairs office and city prosecutors' decision to drop the case against Sewell because evidence vanished in the burglary.
Sewell was caught in an internal sting operation that was designed to test whether officers would turn in drugs they found in public places.
Internal affairs investigators had put the fake drugs on a park bench in the city's Central District on Sept. 4, 2000. Sewell and two other officers responded to the park; one of them found and took the fake drugs.
Sewell then responded to a call for people dealing drugs out of a house and spotted Frederick L. McCoy, 18, leaving it. He charged McCoy with burglary and drug possession - saying he saw him put the drugs on the bench in the park.
It took internal affairs officers 10 days to discover what happened to the fake drugs. The officers did not videotape the sting or take notes.