He was the sheriff of Maryland. He was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday, authorities said, in an alleged plan to buy machine guns illegally.
The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) said. Frederick County Sheriff Charles Austin Jenkins and Maryland arms dealer Justin Kropp conspired to buy machine guns between August 2015 and May 2022.
Kropp, who owns several businesses in Frederick County, had two licenses to own and carry machine guns in some cases. But he was said to be in possession of seven machine guns illegally.
Both men were charged with fraud. Frederick County Sheriff’s Office Documents requested for review and demonstration of machine guns. The DOJ said both men did so knowing the gun would not be evaluated or inspected.
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The two men allegedly used the documents to supply machine guns that Kropp’s customers could rent. Kropp allegedly drafted the documents while Jenkins signed them.
Authorities believe Jenkins intended to take advantage of political favors from Kropp and his clients.
Kropp faces a maximum sentence of fifteen years in federal prison, while Jenkins faces five years.
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The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office issued a press release hours after the incident was reported. In the DOJ case.
“Sheriff Jenkins continues to serve as sheriff and he will continue to be the professional that he is. He will continue to maintain an open policy,” said spokesman Todd Wivel. “He still talks. He has been advised by his counselor not to talk about the situation.”
Veal read Jenkins’ statement aloud.
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“Out of respect for the legal process and the advice of my attorney, I will not comment,” Jenkins’ statement said. “I will continue to serve as your sheriff while this process is completed and I fully expect my deputies, corrections officers and staff to continue to be true professionals.”