SOMERSET, Ky. (WTVQ) – A Pulaski County constable already indicted for intimidating witnesses now faces aggravated assault charges for shooting an FBI agent during the March 6 arrest.
Following an initial appearance hearing Friday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Lexington, Gary Baldock was ordered held in custody pending a detention and preliminary hearing March 19.
That hearing will be at U.S. District Court in London.
Baldock was named Thursday in federal charges of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and using a firearm during a violent crime.
If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.
Baldock, who was elected District 4 constable in November 2018, and District 5 Constable Michael “Wally” Wallace were indicted Feb. 27 on intimidation charges. Federal agents went to the homes on March 6 to arrest them.
Wallace was arrested without incident but according to FBI affidavits, Baldock brandished a firearm and opened fire, despite being warned FBI agents were at his home.
In an affidavit, FBI special agent David J. Lowery wrote FBI agents went to Baldock’s home on Mountain View Drive near the Somerset Airport at about 6 a.m., and activated emergency lights. Through a loudspeaker, agents announced they were at the residence and on several occasions, urged Baldock to come out, Lowery said in the affidavit.
After Baldock would not respond, “FBI personnel breached the front and rear doors to the residence. Agents outside the rear entry to the residence observed Baldock standing inside the residence with his hand on a holstered pistol. An agent repeatedly ordered Baldock to drop the gun while identifying himself as ‘FBI.’ Baldock then brandished the firearm and began shooting at the agents,” Lowery wrote.
FBI agents returned fire, wounding Baldock. An agent also was wounded.
Lowery’s affidavit notes agents were wearing clothing that clearly identified them as law enforcement.
The wounded agent, who has not been named, was released from the hospital the same day. Baldock spent several days in the hospital but has sense been released.
The Herald-Leader in Lexington first reported the new aggravated assault charges.
Baldock and Wallace each face up to 10 years in prison if convicted on the civil rights intimidation charges.
The two were indicted for intimidating and threatening Pulaski citizens between November 18, 2018 and Sept. 24, 2019, according to an indictment filed Feb. 27 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.
The two men “conspired together to injure, oppress, threaten and intimidate” through bogus “unreasonable searches and seizures” that took property without probably cause, according to the charges.
If convicted, they face up to 10 years in prison, three years on post-release supervision, as much as $250,000 in fines and restitution.
Wallace pleaded not guilty during a March 6 arraignment in U.S. District Court in London. His next court date is May 11. He was released on his own recognizance.
Prosecutors say a trial could last five days.
The county’s three other constables aren’t named in any investigation.
Wallace is a veteran constable first elected in 2006 who frequently posts bold press releases on his Facebook page about his crackdown and arrests on drug dealers. He attracted attention last fall when he started placing signs in yards saying “This Drug House Closed for Business, Compliments of the Pulaski County Constable’s Office, Michael “Wally” Wallace.”
The Grand Jury alleges his efforts to clean up the community went too far, violating civil rights along the way.
The 55-year-old Baldock was elected to the open District 4 seat in November 2018, only a short time before he started to conspire with Wallace.
A 1982 graduate of Casey County High, he’s sold farm gates for years, owning Gary Baldock Farm Gates, according to his LinkedIn page. He was a sheriff’s deputy in Casey County from 1987 to 1994 and in Pulaski County from May 2015 until June 2018 when he stepped down to run for office.
The FBI apparently began its investigation last fall and had notified local prosecutors. At least part of the probe targets searches where confiscated items were not reported or under-reported. That included money and other items.
Wallace has been speculated as a possible sheriff candidate in two years and he has dozens of criminal cases pending from his drug arrests. Those cases could come under scrutiny based on the criminal charges against him because defense attorneys almost certainly will argue their clients are the victim of false arrests.