A sheriff and local gun dealer in Frederick County, Maryland, have been indicted by the federal government for their role in a scheme to illegally acquire machine guns so they could be rented out for profit , federal prosecutors said.
A federal grand jury has indicted Frederick County Sheriff Charles Austin Jenkins, 66, and Robert Justin Krop, 36, with conspiracy and misrepresentation to acquire machine guns, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday. . Press release.
Krop, who owns gun-related businesses in the county, is also charged with unlawful possession of seven machine guns, the agency said.
Krop and his companies are permitted to possess and sell machine guns under special circumstances, including the use of the weapons as demonstration samples for potential law enforcement buyers, according to the indictment.
The indictment alleges that from From August 2015 to May 2022, Jenkins and Krop conspired to illegally purchase machine guns by falsifying documents on the sheriff’s office letterhead that requested machine guns for evaluation and demonstration for office.
Instead of using the weapons for demonstrations, however, the pair intended to rent them out to Krop’s clients for the benefit of his business, according to the indictment.
Krop drafted the paperwork for Jenkins to sign, then they submitted the forged paperwork to licensed dealers, importers, and manufacturers, as well as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, claiming that the weapons were intended for presentation to law enforcement, the indictment alleges.
“The indictment further alleges that Krop’s company offered political support to Jenkins in recognition of his support for the company,” the DOJ said in its statement. Jenkins, who has served as sheriff since 2006, was re-elected in 2022, he added.
CNN has reached out to Krop for comment.
Jenkins remains in his position as sheriff, Todd Wivell, spokesman for the sheriff’s office, said at a press conference Wednesday.
Wivell read a statement on behalf of Jenkins that read in part, “I have been in constant communication with the DOJ and ATF for over a year and have been 100% cooperative throughout this investigation. ”
A court date has not yet been set for the two, and the sheriff’s office has not released Jenkins’ attorney.
Frederick County is approximately 50 miles west of Baltimore, Maryland.
If convicted, both men face a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison. Krop would also face a maximum of 10 years in prison for illegal possession of machine guns.