For Immediate Release 5/1/2017
Sergeant Chance Hellum, a correctional officer employed by the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) was indicted by a Baltimore City Grand Jury on April 25, 2017. Sergeant Hellum is charged with one count of Assault in the Second Degree and one count of Misconduct in Office.
This case will be prosecuted by Michael Hudak and Laura Sambataro the Major Investigations Unit (MIU) within the Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City.
The indictment stems from an alleged physical attack on an inmate that occurred on September 21, 2016 at Baltimore City Central Booking and Intake Center.
“The criminal justice system needs reform internally and externally,” said State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. “And I’m glad that our partners at the DPSCS recognize that in order to build the public’s trust we must demonstrate a willingness to investigate and act on our own misconduct.”
The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services initiated and conducted the investigation of the allegation as part of the City Corrections Investigative Unit (CCIU).
“When I took over as Secretary two years ago, I pledged to Gov. Larry Hogan and the citizens of Maryland that we would work with our law enforcement partners to prosecute any alleged wrongdoing in our system and to root out misconduct as our top priority,” Department Secretary Stephen T. Moyer said. “We refuse to let the actions of the few tarnish the reputations of our thousands of dedicated employees who carry out our important mission to keep Maryland citizens, our staff and those in our custody safe.”
The CCIU was created to combat corruption in local and state correctional facilities within Baltimore City. MIU prosecutors work with CCIU investigators and other officials within the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services to identify and prosecute correctional officers and civilian employees of correctional facilities engaged in criminal conduct related to the performance of their duties.
Led by Division Chief Gerald Collins, MIU also investigates and prosecutes violent repeat offenders and violent criminal organizations in Baltimore City. In addition, MIU works closely with the Baltimore Police Department (BPD), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive (ATF) to investigate and prosecute drug trafficking and other violent crimes in Baltimore as part of the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program, as well as investigates human trafficking cases involving adult victims in partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, BPD, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).
Due to the preliminary nature of the case, the Office of the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City is unable at this time to offer further details regarding the indictment and the nature of the charges brought against Sgt. Hellum.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.