When members of former Baltimore Police Sgt. Ethan Glover’s drug squad searched the basement of a Linthicum Heights home April 8, 2016, they stumbled upon three duffel bags sitting against the wall. Waiting on a formal search warrant, one of Glover’s partners kicked one of the bags. Dense and heavy, Glover recalled, it had to contain one of two things: drugs or money.
Glover and the other officer shared a high-five, knowing they had struck pay dirt. It wasn’t until getting a search warrant that the officers, jointly sworn between city police and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, realized what they had: $2.4 million in Mexican cartel drug money, packaged in plastic bags inside the duffel bags at the home on John Avenue. Two of the bags were heat-sealed, but the third was open.
“This was the biggest seizure that most of us, I can [only] speak for myself, a lot of the guys had ever seen,” Glover said from the witness stand Thursday.
Now, 6 1/2 years later, Glover is coming to the end of his federal trial. Prosecutors, as part of the wide-ranging investigation into Baltimore Police’s Gun Trace Task Force, accused Glover of stealing $10,000 from that stash and later lying about the theft to the FBI, relying on testimony from Glover’s estranged ex-fiancee, a cartel member and the drug crew’s tally sheet.
Prosecutors’ indictment was filed April 8, 2021, exactly five years to the day after the incident in question. The statute of limitations in Glover’s case is five years, meaning it was the last day he could legally be charged. If convicted of all charges, he faces a maximum of 15 years in prison.
While Glover was never a member of the task force helmed by disgraced ex-police Sgt. Wayne Jenkins, he was present at at least two crime scenes where Jenkins’ crew was later found to have stolen some of the cash before it was turned over to the DEA for seizure.
The lone former police officer being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Leo Wise to take the witness stand in his own defense, Glover also testified as a witness against Marcus Taylor and Daniel Hersl, both former members of Jenkins’ squad who were convicted. Investigators first suggested Glover had stolen money in a Feb. 28, 2020, meeting with the FBI. Having just served as a witness months earlier, Glover said FBI agents asked him point-blank whether he had ever stolen money or drugs. He said he had not.
“I was going from a witness to a target, or accused,” Glover recalled about that meeting.
Glover testified for more than five hours Thursday, answering questions on everything from the beginning of his career at the police department to his relationship with ex-fiancee Kim Campbell, and about the day he and others seized millions in drug money.
Prosecutors say Glover, after leaving the John Avenue home, managed to steal the roughly $10,000 between there and the officers’ next stop, a home on Pangbourne Way in Hanover. Glover drove from place to place alone in his car, followed by Task Force Officer Rodrigo Crisostomo.
When officers searched the Hanover home, Glover said he was ordered to stand on the porch and watch over their cars, not wanting anyone to ambush them for the large sum of money. Glover told the jury he was never alone with the money in a way that he could access it, and that anytime he handled the duffel bags he was with another officer.
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Campbell, the mother of Glover’s twin daughters, claimed Glover called her once, when she was pregnant, telling her he would be at her home in 15 minutes. When Glover arrived, Campbell testified, he came to hide some money he claimed to have removed from the duffel bag. Later, Glover took her shopping, buying her a pair of shoes, she said. Eventually, Campbell said, Glover took the money from her home and hid it behind his refrigerator.
For the government’s theory to work, the money would have to have been in the back seat of his car. Glover said the money was stored in the trunk of his car, and defense attorney Joseph Murtha suggested Glover would have to have “Gumby arms” to be able to reach into the trunk while driving and remove $10,000. No one in the course of the trial, save for Glover, testified about where they saw him store the duffel bags after leaving John Avenue for Pangbourne Way.
Glover said Crisostomo also followed him from Pangbourne Way to the DEA field office where the two stored the money in a holding cell — the evidence chute wasn’t big enough for the sacks of cash, and their superiors ordered them not to remove it from its packaging.
Glover said he had excellent finances and was able to make purchases for Campbell because he had several side hustles and jobs. He cut grass, plowed snow, worked security for the Ravens and worked as a security contractor with Baltimore Gas and Electric.
Murtha painted Campbell as a woman scorned, noting that the former couple was locked in a contentious custody battle when law enforcement raided Glover’s home years later based on information she provided. Officers did not recover any cash from his home, but found several police records, some of which are confidential, and a DEA receipt from the John Avenue seizure.
But prosecutors pointed to two other pieces of evidence, a tally sheet recovered from John Avenue showing $9,775 more than what was reported seized and testimony from Mexican cartel member Enixae Hernandez-Barba as proof of Glover’s guilt. Murtha disputed that argument, saying drug dealers lie.
Glover also is accused of stealing $1,000 from the police department after a confidential informant returned the money, saying he didn’t want to provide information anymore. Glover denied ever having had money returned to him, adding that he paid the informant on more than one occasion.