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Baltimore Cop on DEA Task Force Charged in Scheme to Get Informant Money; Also Charged With Pocketing Some Himself

baltimoreBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A Baltimore police detective on a DEA Task Force was charged Tuesday with fraudulently arranging for an informant to get more than $10,000 in payoffs he didn’t deserve,  the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.  The cop is also charged with pocketing some of that money.

Detective Mark J. Lunsford, 29, of Sykesville, Md, was charged in one instance of lying in 2008 by saying that  the informant provided him a phone number of a drug suspect when in fact another informant had provided it. Ultimately, investigators got a wiretap for that number.

Following the wiretap investigation, authorities charged that Lunsford exaggerated the help his informant provided in the case so that the informant could get a $10,000 award.  Authorities also charged that Lunsford, with the okay of the informant, kept some of the award money himself.

In another instance, in 2009,  Lunsford falsely claimed that the informant provided information which led to the arrest of another suspect and the seizure of the suspect’s $17,490.  Lunsford allegedly submitted a false claim to DEA for the source to receive an award equal to 20 percent of the cash seizure, or $3,498.

He is also charged with stealing a rose-colored, stainless steel “Aqua Master” diamond watch worth more than $1,000 from a an investigation.


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