Maryland Correctional Officer Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Obstruct Justice and Destruction of Records Related to Cover-Up of Excessive Force Incident
Baltimore, Maryland – Former Baltimore Police Sergeant Keith Allen Gladstone, age 51, of New Park, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to deprive civil rights, in connection with planting evidence at a crime scene. As part of his plea, Gladstone also admitted that he told a witness to lie about the event if questioned by law enforcement.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur and Acting Special Agent in Charge Jennifer L. Moore of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office.
“Prosecuting criminals who work in police agencies is essential both to protect our communities and to support the many honorable officers whose reputations they unfairly tarnish,” said U.S. Attorney Robert K. Hur.
Keith Allen Gladstone joined the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) as an officer on November 20, 1992, and was promoted to Sergeant on December 16, 2011. Gladstone retired from the BPD on December 25, 2012, but was subsequently reinstated as a Sergeant on December 9, 2013. In March 2014, Gladstone was the officer-in-charge of a Special Enforcement Section (SES) unit assigned to BPD’s Western District. Gladstone retired from the BPD for a second time on May 1, 2017.
According his plea agreement, on the evening of March 26, 2014, Gladstone, who was on duty, was having dinner with Officer 1 when he received a call on his cell phone from a sergeant in the BPD who was in a panic because he had just run over an arrestee, D.S., in the front yard of a home in Northeast Baltimore. Gladstone obtained a BB gun from another officer, then drove with Officer 1 to the site of D.S.’s arrest on Anntana Avenue and Belair Road in Northeast Baltimore City. Gladstone admitted that he dropped the BB gun near a pickup truck where D.S. lay injured on the ground. Gladstone told the sergeant, in Officer 3’s presence, “it’s over by the truck,” or words to that effect. The BB gun was then seen by another BPD officer and ultimately recovered by the BPD’s crime lab unit. Based on a false statement of probable cause written by the sergeant in another officer’s name, D.S. was subsequently charged in Maryland state court with possession, use, and discharge of a gas or pellet gun, for the BB gun that Gladstone planted at the scene of D.S.’s arrest, and a number of drug offenses. D.S. was detained on those charges until at least April 2, 2014. On January 16, 2015, the charges were disposed of by nolle prosequi, which is a form of dismissal.
As a result of his actions, Gladstone conspired to deprive D.S. of his liberty without the due process of law, and conspired to commit offenses against the United States, specifically to impede, obstruct, and influence an investigation.
As detailed in his plea agreement, after the sergeant and six other officers who had been members of the GTTF were arrested on federal racketeering charges, Gladstone and Officer 1 arranged to meet in person. Gladstone arranged for the meeting to take place in a swimming pool, to ensure that Officer 1 was not wearing a recording device. Gladstone admitted that during the meeting, he told Officer 1 that if questioned by federal law enforcement about the events on March 26, 2014, Officer 1 should tell federal investigators that Gladstone and Officer 1 were at the crime scene for “scene security,” which Officer 1 knew was not true. Gladstone also told Officer 1 to tell law enforcement that Gladstone had gotten the BB gun from his trunk, which was also not true, since Gladstone and Officer 1 had obtained the gun from another officer.
Gladstone faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for conspiracy to violate civil rights. U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake has scheduled sentencing for September 13, 2019, at 9:15 a.m.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur commended the FBI for its work in the investigation. Mr. Hur thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Leo J. Wise and Derek E. Hines, who are prosecuting the case.
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