CULPEPER COUNTY, Va. – An alleged enrichment scheme involving a county sheriff in Virginia and three accused co-conspirators to exchange bribes for badges has led to a federal indictment.
Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Howard Jenkins, 51, is accused of receiving more than $70,000 in cash while doling out “auxiliary deputy sheriff” appointments and other perks to those making payment, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia.
An overview from the U.S. Attorney’s Office provided the following details:
According to the indictment, from at least April 2019, Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Howard Jenkins, 51, accepted cash bribes and bribes in the form of campaign contributions totaling at least $72,500 from Rick Tariq Rahim, 55, of Great Falls, Virginia, Fredric Gumbinner, 64, of Fairfax, Virginia, James Metcalf, 60, of Manassas, Virginia, and at least five others, including two FBI undercover agents. In return, Jenkins appointed each of the bribe payors as auxiliary deputy sheriffs, a sworn law-enforcement position, and issued them Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office badges and identification cards. Jenkins told or caused others to tell the bribe payors that those law-enforcement credentials authorized them to carry concealed firearms in all fifty states without obtaining a permit. In addition, Jenkins assisted Rahim in gaining approval for a petition to restore his firearms rights filed in Culpeper County Circuit Court that falsely stated that Rahim resided in Culpeper County.
“Scott Jenkins not only violated federal law but also violated the faith and trust placed in him by the citizens of Culpeper County by accepting cash bribes in exchange for auxiliary deputy badges and other benefits,” United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh said today. “Our elected officials are expected to uphold the rule of law, not abuse their power for their own personal, financial gain.”
“As law enforcement officers, we are sworn to protect and serve our communities. We do that by upholding the law – equally, and not abusing the powers that are entrusted to us,” Special Agent in Charge Stanley M. Meador of the FBI’s Richmond Division said today. “With today’s announcement, FBI Richmond re-enforces our commitment – to the community – of ensuring abuses of public trust will not be tolerated and those responsible will be held accountable.”
Jenkins is charged with one count of conspiracy, four counts of honest-services mail and wire fraud, and eight counts of federal programs bribery. Rahim is charged with one count of conspiracy, three counts of honest-services mail and wire fraud, and three counts of federal programs bribery. Gumbinner is charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of honest-services wire fraud, and two counts of federal programs bribery. Metcalf is charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of honest-services wire fraud, and two counts of federal programs bribery.
If convicted, each defendant faces up to 5 years in prison on the conspiracy count, up to 20 years in prison on each of the honest-services mail and wire fraud counts, and up to 10 years in prison on each of the federal programs bribery counts, the Justice Department said in the press release.
According to federal court documents, Rahim, Gubminner, and Metcalf pleaded not guilty at their arraignment on Thursday. Jenkins has not been arraigned; according to a court filing, his arraignment will be “scheduled with his retained attorney,” whose name was not immediately available.
Jenkins has served as the Culpeper County sheriff since 2012, Law&Crime reported. Court records indicate that he is not being held in custody.
In 2019, Jenkins vowed to deputize residents in his county if the Democratic-led legislature enacted gun control measures, Law Officer reported at the time.
“Every Sheriff and Commonwealth Attorney in Virginia will see the consequences if our General Assembly passes further unnecessary gun restrictions,” Jenkins said.