Company targeted in former Trooper’s theft scheme suing him and DSP

today07/10/2023 76

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DOVER, Del. (AP) — A package reshipping company targeted in a theft scheme by a former Delaware State Police trooper has filed a lawsuit against him and the police agency.

TotalTransLogistics LLC said in a complaint filed this week in Superior Court that it is seeking to recover damages for harm caused by Jamal Merrell while he was employed as a trooper. The company also said the state police agency was liable because of “wanton and grossly negligent failure to supervise Merrell.”

Merrell was sentenced in January to six months in federal prison after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor count of deprivation of rights under color of law. The offense involved Merrell using his law enforcement position to deprive someone else of a right or privilege.

The U.S. Bureau of Prisons website indicates Merrell, 33, was released from custody on June 16.

According to federal court documents, Merrell stole various electronic items while on duty from TotalTransLogistics, an international reshipping company in New Castle, under the ruse of conducting an a criminal investigation. Merrell then sold the stolen items, sometimes while in uniform and from his DSP patrol vehicle, according to prosecutors.

TotalTransLogisitics, or TTL, said it was “greatly damaged” by Merrell’s actions, including the theft and resale of various electronic goods. The company is suing him for trespass, conversion of goods in its possession, interference in contractual relations with customers, and interference with existing and future business opportunities. It accuses DSP of wanton or gross negligence in failing to supervise Merrell.

Representatives of the Delaware State Police and the attorney general’s office did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. A phone number for Merrell could not be found.

Among other things, the company alleges that DSP had the ability to track Merrell’s patrol vehicle through GPS and computer-aided dispatch capabilities, but apparently failed to question why his vehicle was frequently at TTL when there was no investigative reason for him to be there.

“Upon information and belief, to the extent that Merrell did not submit reports of his visits to TTL and did not log in evidence collected, the DSP was on notice that something was seriously wrong with DSP’s supervision of Merrell,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit also asserts that Merrell “brazenly sold” stolen items from his patrol car while in uniform.

Source: AP – All contents copyright 2023 Associated Press.  All rights reserved.

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