Officer sentenced to five years in tax scam, heroin case

A federal judge handed a five year prison sentence Thursday to a former Baltimore Police officer who agreed to run a tax scam with someone she thought was a heroin trafficker.

Ashley Roane, 26, pleaded guilty to extortion and identity theft in November. The tax scheme involved stealing people's personal information from a police database so a tax-preparer could file false returns. The preparer, who was an FBI informant and has not been identified, also proposed a drug deal with Roane.

Roane agreed to check whether the source for the heroin was a police informant and then she agreed to provide protection when the deal went down.

"Ashley Roane sold her police powers for a few thousand dollars, in a disgraceful violation of the public trust," said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.

Roane received around $5,000 which she believed to be the proceeds of the tax scheme, and another $1,000 for watching over the drug deal.

Roane's attorney, Brendan Hurson, said the sentence reflected that the judge had recognized that his client should have a chance to prove her actions were an "aberration."

"Ashley Roane was an outstanding police officer who made a terrible mistake, a mistake that will cost her five years of freedom and the career she loved," Hurson said. "At sentencing, she apologized to her family, the department, and the citizens of Baltimore for betraying their trust."

Erica Hughes, 26, who was Roane's roommate, pleaded guilty to identity theft for her part in the false tax return filings and was sentenced to two years in prison. She was not involved in the supposed drug dealing.

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