CRIME

Ex-head of police gun unit charged with robbery, extortion

Months after seven members of a Baltimore Police Department gun trace task force were indicted on charges of robbing people, federal prosecutors say the former head of the unit has been charged.

The U.S. attorney's Office says in a news release that 49-year-old Sgt. Thomas Allers was arrested Wednesday after an indictment was unsealed. He is charged with nine counts of robbery and extortion. Prosecutors say he stole more $90,000, sometimes from people who had not committed crimes.

In March, seven members of the task force were indicted in the alleged racketeering conspiracy. The unit was created to investigate firearms crimes.

A spokesman for the police department had no immediate comment on Allers' status with the department. Online court records do not list a lawyer for Allers.