On September 4, 2000, Officer Sewell of the Baltimore Police Department stopped Frederick L. McCoy as he was leaving a vacant home and charged him with burglary. He also charged him with possessing a bag of drugs found earlier at the corner of Presstman and Madison streets in Baltimore City. In the processing documents, Sewell wrote that he had seen McCoy "placing a clear plastic bag into a crack of a park bench" and this bag had contained drugs.

Sewell knew the drugs were there because he had responded earlier to an anonymous call about the drugs in the park and had reported that he could not locate them. It was later revealed to him that the bags he reported to have seen Mr. McCoy drop in the park were placed there around 9am that morning by Internal Affairs officers, and were actually bars of soap. An Internal Affairs officer who remained at the scene said she never saw anyone in the park except for Sewell and two other officers who successfully recovered them, making Sewell's statement highly questionable.

As an update of the earlier node, on November 7, 2001, Brian Lee Sewell's alleged misconduct was reviewed by a Baltimore police disciplinary panel. Sewell was adjudged to be guilty of all charges, those being: making false statements in his police report and statement of charges, of misleading police and prosecutors, and of general misconduct in office. The panel issued a recommendation that the department fire the seven-year veteran of the force, over his rather shocking act of arresting of an innocent teenager for drug charges based on Sewell's knowledge from an anonymous tip that the drugs were in a particular place in a particular park. What Sewell hadn't known was that this was a "police sting" where internal affairs planted fake drugs in the park and called in the anonymous tips to see if cops would act shadily toward them. The city, eager to be seen as serious about having no tolerance for police misconduct, carried out the termination recommendation about a month and a few days afterwards.

A very similar case occurred two years later, early in 2003, this time the accused officer being thirteen-year veteran Jacqueline Folio. Just a few months after the reporting of this Folio incident, Sewell was himself found dead, on August 11, 2003 at Andrews Air Force Base where he was fulfilling his commitment in the Maryland Army National Guard. He was 34. His death was described as an "accident" and left at that. That December, officer Folio was acquitted of wrongdoing, and the city, under heavy criticism from the Police Union, suspended the practice of conducting "police stings" on the explanation that they really don't reveal anything about corruption at the departmental level.

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