Just as the last of the Gun Trace Task Force officers is set to be sentenced this Friday, another former Baltimore cop has been indicted for allegedly planting a BB gun on someone to help out the GTTF’s former ringleader, Wayne Jenkins, in 2014, and for trying to keep a fellow officer from telling the feds about it.
Keith Allen Gladstone, 51, who worked for the Baltimore Police Department for a combined 25 years in two stints before retiring in May 2017, is charged with witness tampering, conspiracy to deprive a person of civil rights and conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States.
A grand jury returned Gladstone’s indictment to prosecutors last Wednesday, and he was arraigned in federal court in Baltimore today.
Gladstone is charged in a 2014 incident in which he’s accused of helping former Gun Trace Task Force sergeant Jenkins—currently serving a 25-year sentence for racketeering, robbery and more—manipulate the scene of a crime after Jenkins ran over a man with his pickup truck near the intersection of Belair Road and Anntana Avenue in Northeast Baltimore.
According to the indictment, Gladstone was on-duty and eating dinner with an unnamed officer in March 2014 when he got a call from a panicked Jenkins, who “had just deliberately run over” a man (identified in previous Baltimore Sun coverage as Demetric Simon).
Gladstone came to Jenkins’ rescue by grabbing a BB gun from the trunk of his patrol car, which he and his fellow officer then brought to the Northeast Baltimore home where Simon had been run over in the front yard, unable to use his legs, according to prosecutors.
Gladstone planted the BB gun at the scene—a tactic used often by corrupt GTTF cops during their string of robberies—near the pickup, the filing says.
In the presence of a third officer, Gladstone told Jenkins he’d planted the gun “over by the truck,” and then drove away with the first officer. Jenkins, apparently displeased with where Gladstone had set it, then told a fourth officer to move the BB gun to “near the front driver side wheel underneath the pickup truck,” the indictment says.
Other officers then responded to the scene, and it was retrieved by BPD’s Crime Lab. Jenkins later fabricated a statement of probable cause against Simon about the ordeal on behalf of another officer and signed off on it, prosecutors said.
Simon was found with drugs on him at the hospital and charged with drug offenses, but police also charged him with use and discharge of the planted BB gun, the indictment says.
He was detained from March 2014 until April 2014. Prosecutors ultimately dropped his charges the following January, though he has been jailed on other charges brought years ago by GTTF officers. Federal investigators pulled him out of prison last September to testify in federal court, he told The Sun.
Gladstone, who lives in New Park, Pennsyvlania, also faces an added witness tampering charge, punishable by a maximum of 20 years in prison, for telling one of the officers—the same one who drove with him to the scene—to lie to federal investigators after Jenkins and other GTTF cops’ indictments came down in 2017. According to prosecutors, Gladstone told his peer to inform the feds they’d been at the crime scene in March 2014 simply for “scene security.”
Acting Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said in a statement today that he’s taken action against three current Baltimore police officers now being investigating by BPD’s Internal Affairs Division, suspending them pending the outcome of the IAD probe. A fourth officer referenced in today’s indictment had already been suspended, but now “will also be investigated by our Internal Affairs section,” Harrison said.
Of the charges against Gladstone, Harrison said, “the allegations outlined today in court are beyond disturbing, and speak to a culture that I am here to change. We are working with our federal partners on this ongoing investigation.”
Gladstone’s name has appeared in previous coverage of police misconduct as the subject of a lawsuit filed by Larry Lomax, who was doused with what his attorney said was tear gas (a claim the officers disputed in court) and yanked to the ground during the unrest following Freddie Gray’s death in police custody. The former BPD sergeant was captured on video pulling Lomax to the ground after he’d already been sprayed.
A jury awarded Lomax $75,000 in damages in a civil suit filed against the officers.
Gladstone is the first Gun Trace Task Force-connected officer to be indicted by the feds after the original group of eight. The last of that group, Jemell Rayam, is due to be sentenced for robbery and overtime fraud this Friday.
This story has been updated.