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Former Baltimore Police sergeant to plead guilty to planting fake gun at crime scene

The latest Gun Trace Task Force scandal involves a retired Baltimore Police sergeant and the suspension of four other officers. Former Sgt. Keith Gladstone has been indicted on federal civil rights and witness tampering charges related to a 2014 incident.

A retired Baltimore Police sergeant is scheduled to enter a guilty plea later this month in a case in which federal prosecutors allege he planted a fake gun at a crime scene to justify an arrest.

Former Sgt. Keith Gladstone was charged earlier this year with bringing a BB gun to that crime scene in 2014 after another officer, Sgt. Wayne Jenkins, ran a man down with his vehicle in Northeast Baltimore.

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Federal prosecutors late Wednesday scheduled a change of plea hearing for Gladstone on May 31, and his attorney, David Irwin, confirmed that Gladstone will be pleading guilty.

Irwin declined to comment further.

Gladstone has been described as a mentor and frequent collaborator with Jenkins, who went on to lead the corrupt Gun Trace Task Force unit and is serving 25 years in federal prison.

At the Gun Trace Task Force trial, a cooperating officer testified that Jenkins advised his officers to carry toy guns to plant on people in case they got into a situation where they would need to justify their actions.

Gladstone worked in top drug units, including a federal task force for the Baltimore Police Department, despite facing accusations of misconduct that included being admonished by a federal judge in 2003 and being found liable by a civil jury for assaulting a man during the 2015 unrest following the death of Freddie Gray.

Gladstone, of New Park, Pa., is facing federal charges of conspiracy to deprive civil rights, conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States and witness tampering. Prosecutors said when he was charged that if convicted of all three charges, he could face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

The indictment against Gladstone alleged he was on duty having dinner with another officer when he received a call on his cellphone from Jenkins, who was “in a panic because he had just deliberately run over an arrestee” named Demetric Simon.

Federal prosecutors say Gladstone got a BB gun from the trunk of his police vehicle and drove to the scene with the other unidentified officer.

There, Gladstone “dropped the BB gun near a pickup truck” close to where Simon lay injured, prosecutors say. According to the indictment, Jenkins told another officer to move the BB gun closer to Simon.

“I never had no BB gun,” Simon told The Sun last year. “I never aimed nothing at him. He ran me over because I was getting away.”

The new charges say that Jenkins wrote the false statement of charges for Simon, though another officer’s name appears on the document.

A guilty plea in Gladstone’s case would conclude the only pending case to grow out of the Gun Trace Task Force investigation. The last of the officers charged in the original indictment, Jemell Rayam, also will be sentenced next week.

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