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December 22, 2017: Daniel E. Gosnell, Statement of Facts in Support of Guilty Plea


The Defendant, Lieutenant Daniel Gosnell, is an eighteen year veteran of the Aberdeen Police Department.  On August 2, 2017, he submitted to a drug test, tested positive for cocaine, marijuana and opiates and his police powers were suspended.  The Aberdeen Police Chief then referred this matter to the Maryland State Police for an independent investigation and the Harford County State’s Attorney’s Office simultaneously referred the case to the Office of the State Prosecutor for any possible prosecution.

Investigation revealed that Lt. Gosnell, one of two members of the Department with access to and responsibility for the Aberdeen Police Department’s Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS) Vault and evidence room, was exhibiting various suspicious behavioral changes in the weeks prior to his suspension. In addition to having access to the CDS evidence vault, Lt. Gosnell also had access to the prescription pill drop box, a public service container that allowed citizens to drop off or discard no longer needed or wanted prescription drugs. Following his suspension, several officers approached members of the Aberdeen command staff to relay additional observations of suspicious behavior by Gosnell during the preceding months.

On August 8, 2017, members of the Maryland State Police executed a  search and seizure warrant at Lt. Gosnell’s office within the Police Department and the following day, August 9, 2017, another search and seizure warrant was executed at his residence.  Investigators recovered from his office numerous pieces of aluminum foil containing burnt residue, paper clips, lighters and swabs which also contained burnt residue believed to be used to ingest CDS.  From his residence and garage, police recovered further evidence of theft and frequent ingestion of CDS. Next to his garage, there were trash bags which contained items related to CDS submission and analysis to the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division, empty prescription pill bottles, suspected CDS and CDS paraphernalia.  Located within the trash can of the residence, investigators located and seized numerous pieces of aluminum foil containing a burnt residue, which were similar in appearance to the aluminum foil that was located within the office of Lt. Gosnell.  Additionally, a search of Lt. Gosnell’s patrol vehicle also resulted in the recovery of numerous zip lock bags containing various pills and residue, all suspected CDS.

Subsequent interviews of past and present members of the Aberdeen Police Department, in addition to thorough examination and review of stored CDS evidence and case records, further revealed that from approximately February of 2016 through August 2, 2017, Lt. Daniel Gosnell repeatedly stole and consumed various controlled dangerous substances to include: oxycodone, heroin, fentanyl and cocaine, from both the Aberdeen Police Department prescription drop box and from the police department CDS evidence vault.

All the foregoing events occurred in Harford County, State of Maryland.