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 machine guns. Krop is also charged with illegal possession of machine guns. 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 machine guns.
The six-count indictment alleges that from August 2015 to May 2022, Jenkins and Krop conspired to unlawfully purchase machine guns and falsified multiple documents on the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office letterhead requesting machine guns for evaluation and demonstration at 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 machine guns at the Sheriff’s Office and that the machine guns were intended for rental to Krop’s customers. Krop also allegedly illegally possessed seven machine guns. 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 machine gun.
Individuals charged by indictment are 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.