Former police officer sentenced to prison

Former city detective gets 20 months for embezzlement, false statements

August 19, 2010|By Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun

A 40-year-old former Baltimore police detective assigned to a federal drug task force was sentenced to 20 months in federal prison Thursday for lying to colleagues, embezzling confidential-informant funds and pocketing jewelry from suspects, according to the Maryland U.S. Attorney's Office.

In April, Mark. J. Lunsford admitted to splitting $10,000 in law enforcement funds with a supposed source, whose work he regularly lied about to fraudulently obtain cash payments and to swiping an $18,000 diamond watch while raiding an alleged drug house and filing false investigative reports.

As part of his plea agreement, he was required to quit the police force, which had suspended him without pay after his arrest last year.

"Mr. Lunsford's inconceivable actions undermine the integrity and accomplishments of the hard working men and women of the Baltimore Police Department," Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III said in a statement Thursday. "…Egregious violations of the public's trust such as this simply will not be tolerated."

Police worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Attorney's Office and Baltimore State's Attorney's Office to investigate and prosecute the case.

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