Guilty Plea for Theft and Lying in DEA Cop Case
Veteran Baltimore Police Department detective Mark Lunsford pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Baltimore yesterday, admitting that he stole funds intended for paying informants, stole a diamond watch and other items from suspects in his investigations, and lied in sworn documents. Lunsford was assigned to a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration task force. Under his plea agreement, he must resign from his police job.
The charges against Lunsford, filed under seal on Sept. 22, 2009, were accompanied by FBI raids at various locations. At his Sykesville home, agents found numerous suspicious items, including a host of expensive jewelry and watches as well as $46,600 in cash—the same amount that, under his plea deal, he will be forfeiting to the government. The charges against him impacted a number of prosecutions based on his investigations, including one that subsequently involved an alleged drug deal tied directly to the Los Zetas drug cartel in Mexico.
Lunsford is scheduled to be sentenced on June 30, and is facing a maximum of 10 years imprisonment on the theft charges and five years for submitting a false claim.