CRIME

Juan Carter sentenced to seven years

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A former Prince George's County police officer convicted of reselling weapons seized from criminals was sentenced Thursday to seven years in prison.

Juan Carter was found guilty in January of three counts of misconduct in office and four counts of theft over $500.

Carter was part of a unit responsible for logging all unauthorized weapons. Authorities say 29 guns that were seized weren't logged into police property and subsequently went missing.

“This case... represents the worst we see in the community,” says Angela Alsobrooks, Prince George's County State's Attorney.

Several of the guns ended up being used in crimes, including the attempted murder of an off-duty fellow Prince George’s County officer, Eric Horne. Horne had a finger blown off during a shootout. 

“He was injured by one of his own by a gun that was sold on the streets by one of his own,” Alsobrooks says. “The emotional effects of it, the physical effects of it, will follow him for the rest of his life.” 

Saying she wants to take a stand against gun violence, Judge Melani Geter sentenced Carte to seven years in prison, well beyond state guidelines of two years. 

"Today's sentencing of a former Prince George's County police officer underscores my commitment to ethical policing. We will continue to identify and hold accountable any police officer who tarnishes our badge. The decent, hard-working police officers on our agency demand it, and our residents deserve it," Prince George's County Chief Mark Magaw said Thursday.

But Carter and his lawyers call the sentence “excessive.” 

“I don’t think you can blame Officer Carter for all of the violence that occurs in the community,” says Douglas Wood. “I think he is being scapegoated to the extent. 

Alsobrooks disagrees and says the danger Carter created still exists. Twelve of the weapons have been recovered and police are searching for 17 more. Two guns were used in crimes. 

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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