A suspended Baltimore Police officer traded oxycodone, information on a murder investigation and a ghost gun with a member of a motorcycle club in exchange for cocaine, federal authorities said Wednesday in the latest explosive case brought against a city police officer.
Steven Angelini, 41, is accused of conspiring with the president of the Infamous Ryders Motorcycle Club. Authorities say the group used a bar as well as a hot dog stand called “Killa Dogz” to sell drugs.
According to a federal complaint unsealed Wednesday, Angelini funneled oxycodone pills to the unnamed motorcycle club president in exchange for cocaine. He also provided sensitive information about the murder of one of the drug conspiracy’s dealers, and traded a ghost gun — an untraceable firearm lacking a serial number that can be assembled from a kit — and ammunition for drugs.
Angelini, 41, an officer since 2006, was arrested Wednesday morning in Baltimore County, where he was set to stand trial for an unrelated theft case involving items allegedly taken from a grocery store self-checkout.
Angelini appeared in court Wednesday and at one point sobbed at the trial table. He was ordered detained pending a detention hearing Thursday.
Police spokeswoman Lindsey Eldridge said Angelini had been suspended with pay since August 2020. After Wednesday’s arrest, he was suspended without pay.
Angelini battled the department for three years over an employment discrimination case, saying he was tormented by other officers after he discovered a male relative was gay. A federal judge dismissed the case in 2020.
The federal investigation into Angelini and the motorcycle club picks up in January 2022, and the president who Angelini interacted with is not identified in court documents. But in one exchange, he refers to the president as “Keith.”
That is a reference to Keith Dockins, the owner of the Killa Dogz hot dog stand that, along with adjoining bar Coach House Inn, both of which Baltimore County police say the motorcycle club was using to sell drugs. Court records show Dockins was charged in May with drug and firearms charges, and during a search of his home they found an “Infamous Ryders” leather jacket. He is being held without bond
Keith Dockins’ attorney, Andy Alperstein, declined to comment.
Authorities obtained text messages showing Angelini negotiating to sell oxycodone pills. During one exchange, Angelini said that he had been getting cocaine, which he referred to as “dog,” from a dealer associated with the motorcycle club who had been murdered.
“Bro I am calling homicide tomorrow and finding out any info and want that mother fucker caught,” Angelini wrote, according to the complaint.
“Get that footage,” Dockins, the motorcycle club president, wrote. “I hit you off right bro.”
Prosecutors say Angelini took photographs of intelligence reports, incident reports, as well as photographs and information pertaining to the suspect of the murder. He also offered to visit a business and “show them his badge” to get video of the murder.
In April, Angelini allegedly sold an untraceable ghost gun to the motorcycle club president, receiving cash and drugs.
“$300 plus a ball,” Angelini texted Dockins as his asking price. “U can’t beat that, I put $900 in[to] it. ... It shoots perfect.”
Angelini later sold an ammunition magazine for the ghost gun and hollow point ammunition in exchange for cocaine, according to the affidavit.
In recent years, there has been a rise in ghost guns being recovered from the streets of Baltimore. A new law that went into effect June 1 requires that ghost guns be registered. On that day, Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott also announced that the city had filed a lawsuit against Polymer80, the largest ghost gun manufacturer in the U.S.
Angelini joined the department in 2006. He began in the Northwestern District before being transferred to the plainclothes Violent Crimes Impact Division, where he conducted covert counter-narcotics operations, according to records from his 2017 lawsuit against the Police Department. Angelini said he got “burned out” on the work and asked to be transferred to the Southeastern District, where his parents lived.
In the lawsuit, Angelini said he learned that a male relative was having an affair with a man, who began to stalk and harass his relative. Officers in the district ended up responding to domestic calls involving the two men. Angelini said officers began taunting him.
Angelini was involved in a fatal shooting in 2013. Police said he was dispatched to a call for someone shooting a shotgun in their backyard, and Angelini and his partner encountered the person and demanded that he drop his gun. When the man, identified as 24-year-old Nicholas Romano, did not respond, Angelini fired, killing him.
In 2014, Angelini was suspended for four days without pay for being rude and discourteous at the evidence control unit. In 2017, prosecutors flagged him for making inappropriate comments to a juvenile defendant and he was ordered to attend de-escalation training. He had another case sustained in 2018, for being discourteous to a citizen during a traffic stop.
The drug cases against Angelini and Dockins are not the only ones filed in recent months involving the Infamous Ryders Motorcycle Club, which Baltimore County police have described as a violent outlaw gang. Last fall, the Avenue News reported that police announced they had charged eight members of the club, reporting they seized 12 guns, including three ghost guns. In that case, the club’s president at that time was identified as Shaun A. Grazuties, 42, of Parkville.
Baltimore County police said a member of the club was beaten at a barn in Freeland, Md. by the eight members, including being struck with an axe handle. Grazuties, who goes by the name “Wrench,” put a gun in the man’s mouth and ripped off his motorcycle club vest, police said. A Polymer80 gun was found during an Oct. 9 search of his residence.
Cadence Quaranta contributed to this article.