A judge sentenced former Baltimore Police Sergeant Keith Allen Gladstone to only 21 months in prison on July 13 for planting a BB gun on Demetric Simon in March 2014, causing Simon to serve 317 days in jail. He admitted to pocketing money from drug dealers, selling drugs, and exchanging a suspect for an assault rifle, yet still received a 21 months sentence.
Prosecutors granted him immunity when he conceded to the other corruptions he committed.
Gladstone pleaded guilty to conspiring to deprive civil liberties without due process of law and admitted that he told a witness to fabricate the story of what occurred the night Simon was arrested. He agreed to testify against the other corrupt officers, which included the leader of the Gun Trace Task Force.
“There’s no dispute this is a very egregious abuse of trust by Mr. Gladston,” U.S. District Court Judge Catherine Blake remarked.
According to court documents, the incident occurred on March 26, 2014. Gladstone was having dinner with Detective Carmine Vignola when he received a call from a panicked sergeant Wayne Jenkins, the Gun Trace Task Force leader, who had just run over Simon on a Northeast Baltimore home’s front lawn. He called Gladstone because he failed to discover any drugs or weapons on Simon.
Gladstone responded by returning to the inside of the restaurant and asking Vignola if he had a BB gun, to which he declined. The disgraced former sergeant then managed to get a BB gun from Baltimore Police Department (BPD) Officer Detective Robert Hankard and drove him and Vignola to the scene where he planted the fake weapon, telling Jenkins, “it’s over by the truck.”
The gun was discovered by another BPD officer and taken to the BPD’s crim lab unit.
Jenkins used another officer’s name to write a fake statement of probable cause, leading Simon to be charged with possessing, using, and discharging a gas or pellet gun.
Simon was present in court for his offender’s sentencing but left when Gladstone’s family members began speaking highly of him, painting him as a good person. Simon made his statement via a letter to the judge requesting the maximum sentence under the law — 37 months.
“It was dehumanizing what happened to me,” he wrote. “I appreciate 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 never showed remorse. Not to me. Not to the people of Baltimore.”
Gladstone’s family justified his actions claiming he, the law enforcement who’s supposed to enforce the law, tried to protect the people he cared for in the department by making someone else go to jail for a crime they did not commit.
Nearly 15 officers in Baltimore were convicted, as well as Vignola and Hankard for assisting in framing Simon.
The corrupt Baltimore cop has been a police officer in the city since the 1990s and admitted to stealing the money and doing drug deals since then, claiming it was common in the task force.
Jenkins was charged with several federal offenses, including robbery, conspiracy, and racketeering in 2017.