For Immediate Release
Frederick County Sheriff and Gun Dealer Indicted for Scheme To Illegally Acquire Machineguns
Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Charles Austin Jenkins, age 66, of Thurmont, Maryland, and Robert Justin Krop, age 36, of Frederick, Maryland, with conspiracy and false statements in order to acquire machineguns. Krop is also charged with illegal possession of machineguns. No court appearance is scheduled for the defendants at this time.
The indictment was announced by Erek L. Barron, United States Attorney for the District of Maryland and Special Agent in Charge Toni M. Crosby of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division.
As detailed in the indictment, Charles Jenkins has been the Sheriff of Frederick County since his election in 2006 and was most recently re-elected in 2022. Robert Krop is the principal owner and operator of firearms-related businesses in Frederick County. Krop and his businesses held up to two Federal Firearms Licenses (“FFLs”) that allowed Krop and the business, under certain circumstances, to possess and deal in machineguns.
The six-count indictment alleges that from August 2015 to May 2022, Jenkins and Krop conspired to unlawfully purchase machineguns and falsified multiple documents on the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office letterhead requesting machineguns for evaluation and demonstration to the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office. Krop allegedly drafted these documents for Jenkins’ signature. According to the indictment, Jenkins and Krop knew that there would not be a demonstration of the machineguns to the Sheriff’s Office and that the machineguns were intended for rental to Krop’s customers. Krop also allegedly illegally possessed seven machineguns. The indictment further alleges that Krop’s business offered political support to Jenkins in recognition of his support for the business.
If convicted, Jenkins and Krop face a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison for the conspiracy, for false statements in records maintained by a federal firearms licensee and for false statements to federal law enforcement. If convicted, Krop also faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison for unlawful possession of a machinegun.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the ATF for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christine Goo and Leo Wise, who are prosecuting the federal case.
For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.