When the U.S. Department of Justice announced the indictment of Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins recently, it didn’t come as a surprise to see that Jenkins was charged with crimes related to abuse of power.
According to the indictment, Jenkins and a local gun shop owner illegally used the sheriff’s office to obtain machine guns. The gun shop owner then rented those machine guns to private customers as part of a conspiracy for personal gain, the indictment says.
In exchange, the gun shop owner would help Jenkins in his re-election campaign.
What does come as a surprise, though, is that despite Jenkins’ disregard of the law, and his current leave of absence, the Biden administration continues to partner with him in an anti-immigrant and xenophobic federal program, known as the 287(g) immigration program.
As an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, I have learned firsthand from Frederick County residents about Jenkins’ appalling track record with the immigrant community.
We successfully represented Frederick immigrants in a lawsuit against the sheriff in 2019 over the sheriff’s policy and practice of racially profiling Latino residents.
Sara Medrano and members of the RISE Coalition were illegally detained by Jenkins’ deputies in blatant violation of their constitutional rights, targeting them simply for the color of their skin. Medrano was terrified when two Frederick deputies falsely accused her of a broken taillight, and feared she would be taken away from her family by immigration authorities.