Authorities announced Thursday that a Virginia sheriff is being charged by the federal government. He is accused of taking tens of thousands of dollars in cash bribes in return for giving out deputy badges. In this case, three other guys have also been charged.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia said in a news release that 51-year-old Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Howard Jenkins was charged with eight counts of bribery of government programs, four counts of honest services mail and wire fraud, and one count of conspiracy.
Prosecutors say that Jenkins gave at least eight people, including two undercover FBI agents, auxiliary deputy sheriff badges in return for a total of $72,500 in cash donations to his campaign.
The tweet below verifies the news:
A Virginia sheriff is facing federal charges after being accused of accepting tens of thousands of dollars in cash bribes in exchange for giving out deputy badges. https://t.co/QGDcjsmjFM
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 30, 2023
Prosecutors say that 55-year-old Rick Tariq Rahim, 64-year-old Fredric Gumbinner, and 60-year-old James Metcalf are three of the men who are accused of bribing Howard. They are charged with wire theft and conspiracy, among other things.
Officials say that the supposed bribes happened at least as far back as April 2019.
Prosecutors say that Howard told the people who gave him money that their deputy badges would let them carry hidden guns without a permit in all 50 states.
Howard is also accused of helping Rahim get his right to carry a gun back by telling the Culpeper County Circuit Court that Rahim lived in Culpeper when he actually lived in Great Falls, which is in Fairfax County, Virginia.
The city’s website says that Howard has been the sheriff of Culpeper County since 2012.
For each count, the maximum term is between five and twenty years. On Thursday in Charlottesville, all four men were set to go to court for the first time.
In a statement, U.S. Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh said, “Scott Jenkins not only broke federal law, but he also broke the faith and trust of the people of Culpeper County when he took cash bribes in exchange for auxiliary deputy badges and other benefits.” “We expect our elected officials to follow the rule of law and not use their power to make money for themselves.”
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