Baltimore, Maryland – Ivo Louvado, age 47, of Bel Air, Maryland, pleaded guilty today to making false statements to federal agents.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur and Special Agent in Charge Jennifer C. Boone of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office.
According to his guilty plea, Louvado joined the Baltimore Police Department on November 21, 1999, and was promoted to Detective in 2008. In February 2009, one of Louvado’s co-workers advised that they had received information from a confidential informant about a large-scale narcotics trafficker operating out of a residence in the 1400 block of Ellamont Street in Baltimore. On February 19, 2009, Louvado and other members of his squad were conducting surveillance in the 1400 block of Ellamont Street, targeting an individual, T.M.
As detailed in the plea agreement, other officers participating in the law enforcement action followed a car from that residence. Those officers claimed to have recovered trash that contained cocaine residue that had been thrown from the car they had followed. Louvado and other officers then entered the residence that the man was allegedly observed leaving. Louvado and other officers remained in the house until two members of the squad obtained a search warrant from a Baltimore City District Court judge. Louvado ultimately participated in the search of the residence, specifically, taking photographs of items that BPD seized. At some point, Louvado was alerted to the presence of a jacket hanging behind a door that contained a large amount of cash in it, which Louvado photographed.
While in the house, officers found car keys and a BPD officer activated the remote alarm on one of the keys. Officers heard the alarm sound in a pickup truck that was parked nearby. Louvado and other officers went to the pickup and opened an opaque cover that was over the back of the pickup truck. Under construction debris, a significant quantity of cocaine was found. Louvado and other officers waited with the cocaine until a SWAT team arrived. The SWAT team was called to provide protection during the transportation of the cocaine to BPD headquarters because it was such a large quantity. In order to transport the cocaine from the scene to BPD headquarters, it was loaded into a BPD surveillance van driven by another member of Louvado’s squad, K.G. After the cocaine was loaded into the surveillance van, Louvado followed the SWAT team to BPD headquarters to maintain chain-of-custody over the cocaine. Forty-one kilograms of cocaine was turned into the BPD’s Evidence Control Unit on February 20, 2009. Later that day, federal drug charges were filed against T.M.
Louvado admitted that he, K.G., and V.R. (another member of the squad) later discovered three kilograms of cocaine in the surveillance van that had been used to transport the 41 kilograms that were turned into BPD. The three kilograms were part of the seizure from T.M.’s pick-up truck but had not been turned into BPD. Louvado, K.G., and V.R. agreed that rather than turn this cocaine into BPD, they would sell it and split the proceeds. According to the plea agreement, a confidential informant of V.R.’s who was a drug trafficker purchased the cocaine, which the trafficker then sold in Baltimore. V.R. received the proceeds of the sale from his source and shared them with Louvado and K.G. Louvado acknowledged that he received $10,000 in drug proceeds from the sale of the three kilograms of cocaine.
On March 1, 2017, seven members of the BPD’s Gun Trace Task Force were arrested on federal racketeering charges, including W.J. Following the filing of charges, the FBI continued to investigate misconduct by members of the BPD. On May 30, 2018, Louvado agreed to participate in a voluntary interview with an FBI special agent and an FBI task force officer, who questioned him about the seizure of cocaine on February 19 and 20, 2009. In that interview, Louvado knowingly falsified, concealed, and covered up material facts, namely, that he and two other officers had split the proceeds from the sale of the three kilograms of cocaine that had been seized by BPD that day. As a former federal task force officer himself, Louvado knew that it was a crime to provide false information during interviews with federal law enforcement. Louvado also knew that the FBI was investigating police corruption and was questioning him about the seizures that day in order to determine if police misconduct had occurred.
Louvado faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison for making false statements to federal agents. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake has not yet scheduled sentencing.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the FBI for its work in the investigation. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Leo J. Wise, who is prosecuting the case.