Former Delaware State Trooper Jamal Merrell, 32, of Newark, was sentenced today to six months in prison for federal civil rights violations. Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Mary Pat Thynge pronounced the sentence.
According to court documents, Merrell stole various electronic items while on duty from TotalTransLogistics, an international reshipping company in New Castle, under the ruse that he was conducting an active fraud investigation.
Merrell then sold the stolen items while in uniform and from his DSP patrol vehicle.
U.S. Attorney Weiss stated, “Mr. Merrell’s crimes are unacceptable. This country was founded on the protection of an individual’s civil rights and liberties.
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We task our police officers to uphold those rights and liberties. Instead, Merrell chose to routinely disregard his duties as an officer. This sentence serves a warning to police officers who choose to abuse their power.”
“Delaware State Troopers are entrusted to uphold the law and protect the public’s safety while safeguarding morals that are held near and dear to our hearts. In fact, we take an oath to do so. Although we will never be able to fully comprehend Mr. Merrell’s betrayal of trust to both the public and his former colleagues, one thing is certain, the women and men of this agency will continue to serve the citizens of this great state with honor and integrity,” said Delaware State Police Superintendent, Colonel Melissa Zebley.
“Law enforcement officers vow to uphold the rights of our citizens,” said Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the FBI’s Baltimore field office. “Mr. Merrell’s actions are an egregious violation of public trust. His sentencing shows the FBI is committed to investigating allegations of criminal misconduct, no matter who the subject is or what position they hold in their community.”
The FBI and the Delaware State Police Internal Investigations Unit investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin P. Pierce prosecuted the case.