Frederick Co. sheriff seeks separate trial in Maryland machine gun conspiracy case

Frederick County, Maryland, Sheriff Charles "Chuck" Jenkins. (Courtesy Frederick County Sheriff's Office)
Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins wants to be tried separately from the Maryland gun dealer he’s accused of conspiring with.

Charles Austin “Chuck” Jenkins, 66, was indicted by a federal grand jury in April on charges of conspiracy and making false statements when he helped gun shop owner Robert Justin Krop, 36, obtain machine guns to rent to the public.

Jenkins’ attorneys filed a motion Wednesday, asking he be tried separately from Krop, whose business is called The Machine Gun Nest.

According to his attorneys, Jenkins never had “any financial incentive or fraudulent intent,” when he helped get the guns for Krop’s business.

His lawyers wrote, “Defendant Jenkins never received anything of value for his supposed role in this conspiracy — not money, rentals, use of the gun range, political contributions, or anything else of value.”

Jenkins was elected to his fifth term last fall. He announced he was taking a leave of absence in April, after pleading not guilty to the federal charges.

According to online court records, Krop’s lawyers have not yet responded to Jenkins’ request for a separate trial.

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Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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