On Sept. 22 Mark J. Lunsford, a Baltimore Police Department (BPD) detective assigned as a U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) task-force officer, was charged in federal court with lying and embezzlement, based on a fast-moving investigation conducted by the FBI public-corruption unit in Baltimore, court records show.
According to the criminal complaint and search warrant for Lunsford’s Sykesville home, his DEA work space, and his official vehicle, filed by U.S. Attorney Jonathan Biran and based on a 16-page affidavit written by FBI special agent Brian Fitzell. The case against Lunsford began in June as a result of information developed from a “confidential human source” that Lunsford was handling in the course of doing DEA investigations. That source provided the FBI with “information regarding the criminal conduct of Lunsford to include Lunsford’s theft of clothing and jewelry from crime scenes (including searches and arrests) and Lunsford’s receiving ‘kickbacks’ of source payment money,”according to Fitzell’s affidavit.
As recently as Sept. 22, the day the charges were filed, the affidavit says, Lunsford was observed participating in such a “kickback,” in which the source he handled was paid, but then later split the proceeds with Lunsford. Items Lunsford allegedly stole include watches, clothing, and Playstation video games. BPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told City Paper that departmental comment may be forthcoming, once Commissioner Bealefeld has a chance to review the details of the freshly charged case.