Former Baltimore Police Sgt. Keith Allen Gladstone has admitted to mounting a BB gun on an innocent man, stealing money from drug dealers, orchestrating a drug deal and releasing a suspect in exchange for an assault rifle, but he will serve less than two years in federal prison spend.
US prosecutors could only indict Gladstone for attaching the BB gun to Demetric Simon eight years ago. US District Judge Catherine C. Blake handed down the 21-month sentence on July 13.
Gladstone pleaded guilty to conspiracy to imprison without due process three years ago and also agreed to testify against other corrupt officials, including the leader of the notorious Gun Trace Task Force, known for exploiting and abusing black people and dirty police practices. Gladstone had been granted immunity by the prosecutor when he confessed to the other crimes.
“There is no doubt that this is a very egregious breach of trust by Mr. Gladstone,” Blake said as he announced the verdict.
Sergeant Wayne Jenkins of the Gun Trace Task Force ran over Simon in March 2014, but he couldn’t find any drugs or weapons on the man, so he called Gladstone for help. Gladstone asked one of his subordinates, Detective Robert Hankard, to buy the BB gun.
Gladstone and another subordinate, Detective Carmine Vignola, drove to the scene, where Gladstone dropped the gun and signaled to Jenkins, court documents show. Simon spent 317 days in prison for gun possession before they were released.
“It was dehumanizing what happened to me,” Simon wrote in a letter read by his attorney in court. “I appreciate that Gladstone testified against other officers also responsible, but only after he was caught red-handed. But that’s what a narcissist does. He never apologized. He has never shown remorse. Not for me. Not for the people of Baltimore.”
Simon had asked the judge to sentence Gladstone to a maximum of 37 months in prison. He was reportedly forced to leave court after being overcome with emotion when Gladstone’s family boasted about his integrity.
Gladstone, 53, joined the Baltimore Police Department as an officer in 1992, according to court records. 19 years later he was promoted to sergeant. Gladstone initially retired from the force in December 2012 but was reinstated in December 2013, documents show.
He retired from the department again in May 2017, three months after Jenkins was charged with a variety of federal offenses including racketeering, conspiracy, robbery and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a violent crime.
Gladstone’s wife and children described him as a loving and giving father and a good husband who cared for others. His son Kyle said he did not condone his father’s actions, but he and brother Cody said they understood he did it to protect colleagues he cared about in the department.
About 15 Baltimore officers were also convicted of misconduct at the time. Gladstone’s subordinates, Vignola and Hankard, were also charged with their role in defaming Simon after Gladstone implicated them.
“I can understand why the officers look out for each other because the [state’s attorney] is after them, not the criminals on the street,” said Cody Gladstone.
Simon has filed a $17 million lawsuit against the police, Gladstone, Hankard, Vignola and other officials involved in the plan.
Gladstone told the court he began stealing drug money to pay confidential whistleblowers early in his career, adding that it was a common practice among the force. In 2003, Gladstone said he had begun to keep the money to himself.
Gladstone also admitted to stealing money and planting drugs from a suspect three to five times during raids involving Jenkins. He said he once delivered 7 pounds of cocaine he found in a police van to a whistleblower to sell for him and in another instance accepted an AR-15 rifle to free a suspect.
Gladstone’s attorney David Irwin said the former sergeant’s bad actions marred what was “99 per cent” a good police career and that he had reportedly sought redemption since his indictment.
Gladstone apologized to Simon, the townspeople and the police during his sentencing hearing.
“You deserve better from me,” he said.
https://atlantablackstar.com/2022/07/17/never-showed-remorse-former-baltimore-sergeant-admits-to-pocketing-drug-money-and-selling-cocaine-boosted-from-suspects-but-will-only-get-21-months-for-planting-bb-gun/ Former Baltimore sergeant admits pocketing drug money and selling cocaine fueled by suspects but gets just 21 months for planting a BB gun