Middle River Man Pleads Guilty in Towing Scheme

Baltimore police officers Kelvin Manrich and Samuel Ocasio among 50 officers paid to refer business to Majestic Auto Repair in Rosedale.

A Middle River man became the latest Baltimore City police officer to admit his role in an illegal towing scheme involving a Rosedale auto shop.

Kelvin Quade Manrich, 42, of Middle River, pleaded guilty last week to conspiracy and extortion charges after five days of trial in federal court, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland.

This came at the same time as a federal jury convicted another city officer, Samuel Ocasio, age 36, of Edgewood, of similar charges that the owners of Majestic Auto Repair paid him, Manrich and other Baltimore City police officers to arrange for their company, rather than a city-authorized business, to tow vehicles from accident scenes and make repairs, according to a news release.

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“Working as a law enforcement officer is a commitment and not just a job, which is why it requires a sworn oath,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein in a statement. “A police officer who takes a payment from a private citizen in connection with public duties crosses a bright line from which there is no return.”                                                                                        

According to a news release,  beginning in 2008, Manrich and Ocasio contacted Majestic owners Herman Alexis Moreno and Edwin Javier Mejia for towing and repair services, even though Majestic was not an authorized Baltimore City towing company.

In exchange, the owners paid the officers up to $300 for each vehicle they referred to Majestic, according to the release. Moreno, 30, of Rosedale, and Mejia, 27, of Middle River, .

Both officers face a maximum sentence of five years in prison for the conspiracy, and a maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,0000, according to the release. 

Sentencing for Ocasio is set for June 1 while Manrich is scheduled to be sentenced on May 25.

Overall, 14 Baltimore Police officers have pleaded guilty in federal court and one pleaded guilty in state court in connection to the towing scheme.

Ron Snyder February 28, 2012 at 08:51 PM
The owners pleaded guilty to related charges in July.
Red Dolphin February 29, 2012 at 01:56 AM
"middle River man" that;s where he resides. should'nt the head line read "baltimore city police officer convicted of extortion" ?
Ron Snyder February 29, 2012 at 11:38 AM
This site centers on news in the Essex-Middle River area. The headline reflects who this story impacts the local community. The sub-head indicates he is an officer. Thank you for your feedback.
Red Dolphin February 29, 2012 at 07:54 PM
im clear on that Ron, you are 100% correct, I was blowing off a little steam, not trying to critque your compostions .Everythiing you wote was appropiate,,,,,,,,,, i.e it relfects on the area related, to the blog,,,,,,,,,,,, I apologize
Ron Snyder February 29, 2012 at 08:48 PM
No problem. We have an open forum and as long as people are respectful, everyone can have their say. That's what is great about Patch.


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