From [HERE] A white Baltimore police sergeant linked to the Gun Trace Task Force has been indicted on federal charges including civil rights violations and witness tampering.
Keith Allen Gladstone, 51, had his initial appearance and arraignment in federal court on Tuesday. The indictment was returned on Feb. 27 and sealed until the Tuesday hearing.
“Prosecuting criminals who work in police agencies is essential both to protect our communities and to support the many honorable officers whose reputations they unfairly tarnish,” U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur said in a statement. “This is not about policing, it is about a criminal conspiracy.”
Acting Commissioner Michael Harrison said that based on the indictment and other information available to him, three officers will be suspended pending the outcome of an internal investigation. A fourth officer was already suspended, and will also be investigated.
“The allegations outlined today in court are beyond disturbing, and speak to a culture that I am here to change," Harrison said in a statement. "We are working with our federal partners on this ongoing investigation."
Prosecutors point to one incident on March 26, 2014, when Gladstone was having dinner with another officer when he got a call on his cell phone from a "W.J." That officer is not directly named in the indictment, but is likely a reference to Sgt. Wayne Jenkins, a racist suspect who later pleaded guilty in the wide-ranging Gun Trace Task Force scandal.
According to the indictment:
On the evening of March 26,2014, GLADSTONE, who was on duty, was having dinner with Officer 1 at a restaurant in Southeast Baltimore. GLADSTONE received a call on his cell phone from W.J., who was in a panic.
GLADSTONE answered the call but left the restaurant to speak on the phone out of Officer 1 's presence. W.J. had just deliberately run over an arrestee, D.S., in the front yard of a home in Northeast Baltimore.
GLADSTONE went back inside the restaurant and asked Officer 1 if he had a BB gun and when Officer 1 told him he did not, GLADSTONE asked Officer 1 to call Officer l's partner, Officer 2. Officer 1 did as directed but Officer 2, who was not working that day, told Officer 1 he did not have a BB gun either.
Officer 1 told GLADSTONE that Officer 2 did not have a BB gun either. GLADSTONE then left the restaurant a second time and went to the trunk of the BPD vehicle he was driving where he retrieved a BB gun.
GLADSTONE went back into the restaurant and told Officer 1 that they had to leave immediately. GLADSTONE then drove at a high rate of speed to the site of the D.S.'s arrest on Anntana Avenue and Belair Road in Northeast Baltimore City.
Once there GLADSTONE exited his vehicle and carried a BB gun to the front yard of the house where D.S. had been run over. GLADSTONE dropped the BB gun near a pickup truck where D.S. lay injured on the ground unable to use his legs.
GLADSTONE then walked over to W.J. and Officer 3. GLADSTONE told W.J. in Officer 3's presence "it's over by the truck," or words to that effect and GLADSTONE told W.J. to have someone search by the truck. GLADSTONE then left the scene and drove away with Officer 1.
W.J. told Officer 4 that a gun was in the grass and told Officer 4 to move it under the pickup closer to the victim. Officer 4 retrieved the BB gun from the grass and placed the BB gun near the front driver side wheel underneath the pickup truck.
The BB gun was then seen by another BPD officer and ultimately recovered by the BPD's crime lab unit. D.S. was taken from the scene to the hospital in custody where drugs were recovered from him.
He was then taken from the hospital to BPD's Central Booking where he was charged. Those charges included possession, use and discharge of a gas or pellet gun, for the BB gun that GLADSTONE planted at the scene of D.S.'s arrest, and a number of drug offenses.
W.J. wrote a false statement of probable cause in the name of Officer 5, which Officer 5 agreed to submit in support of those charges. W.J. approved the false statement of probable cause as Officer 5's supervisor. D.S. was detained on those charges until at least April 2, 2014. The charges against D.S. arising out of his arrest on March 26, 2014, were disposed of by nolle prosequi, which is a form of dismissal on January 16, 2015. [MORE]
An attorney said Gladstone entered a plea of not guilty, and that his client is "not like" the defendants who have already pleaded guilty or who have been convicted in the GTTF cases.
Gladstone joined the force in 1992 and was promoted to sergeant in 2011. He retired the following year, but was reinstated in 2013. He led a special enforcement section unit assigned to the Western District until he retired a second time in 2017.
The indictment also alleges that after W.J. and six other officers were arrested on federal racketeering charges, Gladstone told the officer he had been dining with that night that, if questioned about the night's events, he should tell investigators that they were there for "scene security."
Last June, Gladstone was named in a $40 million lawsuit that alleged he supplied the drugs that were planted in a different arrest. That suit also named Jenkins, Officer Ryan Guinn and the estate of Detective Sean Suiter. In January of last year, a jury awarded $75,000 to a man who alleged Gladstone and another officer used excessive force while arresting him.
If convicted, Gladstone could face up to 35 years in federal prison. U.S. Magistrate Judge Beth P. Gesner ordered him released under supervision of U.S. Pretrial services.