Baltimore Officer Accused of Planting Drugs Found Guilty

Screen capture of Axon Body Camera footage.
Screen capture of Axon Body Camera footage.

By Sean Yoes, Baltimore AFRO Editor

A Baltimore police officer charged with planting drugs at a crime scene has been found guilty, according to sources within the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office. The guilty verdict for Officer Richard Pinheiro Jr. came this afternoon and he was given a six-month suspended sentence.

Pinheiro had pled not guilty to charges of fabricating evidence, which is a misdemeanor that carries up to three years in prison and misconduct in office, which the court was free to choose any penalty.

During his testimony in Baltimore Circuit Court on Nov. 8, Pinheiro testified in his own defense that the body cam footage, which appeared to show him planting drugs actually depicted him attempting to recreate the crime scene.

Pinheiro, 30, testified that he forgot to turn on his body-worn camera when he initially found the drugs in a Southwest Baltimore alley in January 2017. He testified that when he returned to the alley, he activated his camera and retraced his steps to document how he found the evidence.

However, when he re-enacted the discovery of the drugs in a baggie inside of a soup can, he acted as if he had found the drugs for the first time.

This article originally appeared in The Afro

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