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Maryland sheriff, gun shop owner accused of machine gun rental scheme

A Maryland sheriff who has been in office since 2006 and a gun shop owner have been charged with conspiracy and making false statements to acquire and rent machine guns, federal officials announced Wednesday.

Sheriff Charles Austin Jenkins, 66, and businessman Robert Justin Kropp, 36, were both indicted by a federal grand jury in Maryland. Erek came. The charges were announced by Barron, United States Attorney for the District of Maryland and Tony M. Crosby, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division.

The six-count indictment alleges that from August 2015 to May 2022, Jenkins and Cropp “conspired to illegally purchase” machine guns and forged documents on Frederick County Sheriff’s Office letterhead to request the machine guns for the office’s “appraisal and display.” Kropp produced these documents for Jenkins to sign, the complaint alleges.

Kropp is the main owner and operator of a firearms-related business in Frederick County, where Jenkins is sheriff. Kropp’s businesses allowed him to own and trade machine guns. Jenkins and Kropp allegedly rented machine guns to paying customers. The indictment also alleges that Kropp illegally possessed seven machine guns and that his business provided political support to Jenkins.

A call to Jenkins’ phone listed on the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office website was not answered. A public information officer for the sheriff’s office said a news conference about the indictment will be held Wednesday afternoon.

If convicted, Jenkins and Kropp face a maximum sentence of five years in prison for conspiracy, making false statements in records maintained by a federal firearms licensee and making false statements to federal law enforcement agencies. Krop also faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison for unlawful possession of a machine gun.

No court dates have been scheduled for Jenkins or Cropp at this time, federal officials said.

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Kerry Breen


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