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Former BPD Sgt. Gladstone sentenced to 21 months for planting BB gun in 2014 incident

BALTIMORE -- Retired Baltimore police Sgt. Keith Gladstone was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison for planting a BB gun to help the head of the corrupt Gun Trace Task Force, Sgt. Wayne Jenkins, after he ran over a man.

In May 2019, Gladstone pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to deprive civil rights related to the 2014 incident.

According to court records, Jenkins called Gladstone, saying he had run over an arrestee, Demetric Simon, near Anntana Avenue and Bel Air Road in Northeast Baltimore.

Gladstone was eating dinner with Det. Carmine Vignola at Chicken Rico in Highlandtown at the time of the call. He asked Vignola if he had a BB gun. 

When Vignola said no, the pair called Det. Robert Hankard and stopped by his home to pick up his BB gun.

They then drove to the scene, where Gladstone planted the BB gun, and left.

Nearly four years later, Gladstone and Vignola met at a swimming pool to talk about the incident. Gladstone told Vignola he should lie to federal law enforcement officials if he was brought in for questioning in the case.

A year later in February 2019, Vignola told a grand jury he was investigating allegations that the gun was planted by an officer.

Vignola received an 18-month prison sentence in 2020  after pleading guilty to lying to a grand jury about the circumstances of the incident. It was shortened to six months due to the pandemic.

Both Gladstone and Vignola testified against Hankard in U.S. District Court.

Gladstone testified that Jenkins called him "in a panic . . . crying" about not having a lawful reason for the chase. Jenkins said he needed a BB gun, Gladstone said.

He told the court he personally planted the BB gun at the crash scene and later called Jenkins to ask him to "wipe it down" because his DNA and fingerprints were on the weapon.

"It's like a football team. I'm like the quarterback," Gladstone said. "I don't need to tell the wide receiver to do what to do. He knows what to do."

Simon testified that he only learned of the BB gun charge while he was in jail.  

"Reading all this, I was confused," Simon recalled. "Where'd they get a BB gun from?"

Hankard was convicted last April of falsely testifying to a federal grand jury about his role in planting the BB gun, falsifying an application for a search warrant, and falsifying an arrest report in a second incident where drugs were planted on a suspect.

Jenkins -- the ringleader of the unit whose officers were convicted of racketeering, armed robbery, selling drugs, falsifying overtime and planting evidence on suspects they arrested -- was sentenced in 2018 to 25 years in prison.  

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