Constables face new civil rights allegations, get trial extensions
PULASKI COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – Two indicted Pulaski County constables get new trial dates after a federal judge rules new meth trafficking charges and expanded allegations of civil rights violations warrant more time for their attorneys to prepare.
Gary Baldock, 56, and Michael “Wally” Wallace, 46, had been scheduled to stand trial Aug. 3 on the civil rights violations while Baldock had been scheduled for an Aug. 24 trial on charges of attempted murder of an FBI agent and use of a firearm in a violent crime.
But federal prosecutors added meth trafficking charges in new June 25 indictments. They also expanded the period of the civil rights violations from November 2018 to March 6, 2020, the day if their arrest, rather than last September, as originally indicted.
“The parties’ filings indicate that, during the originally charged conspiracy period,
November 18, 2018, through September 24, 2019, 18 discrete incidents allegedly undergird the Count 1 charge. The related discovery, including state prosecutors’ files from the 13 events that resulted in state prosecutions of alleged conspiracy victims, is already extensive and not yet fully disclosed,” U.S. District Judge Robert Wier said in granting a continuance.
The expanded civil rights violations mean the men now are charged with 31 incidents, most of which resulted in charges against individuals in state court, charges that may now be in doubt.
Wier rescheduled the civil rights and drug charges for trial Nov. 16 at federal court in London. He moved Baldock’s attempted murder and firearms trial to Dec. 7, 2020.
“A continuance is necessary and appropriate to ensure that Defendants have adequate time to assess strategy and, as necessary, prepare for trial. Further, based on counsel’s representations, failing to grant a continuance would likely “result in
a miscarriage of justice,” Wier wrote.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Parman did not object to requests to continued the case.
The new indictments charge both men with trafficking in meth on March 6, 2020, the day they were arrested on federal charges of abusing their positions to violate citizens’ civil rights through false arrests, harassment, threats and theft or under-reporting of confiscated drugs and goods.
WTVQ-TV ABC 36 News previously reported FBI agents found suspected meth in the trunk of Baldock’s District 4 constable’s car when he was arrested following a shoot out at his home. But news of Wallace being in possession of the highly addictive drug comes with the new indictment.
According to the indictments, if convicted, they face up to 20 years in prison on the trafficking charge, as much as $1 million in fines an three years of supervised release.
FBI agents served indictments on both men early on the morning of March 6. Wallace, who has represented District 5 for 15 years and built a reputation as a no-nonsense anti-drug lawman, was arrested without incident.
Baldock, however, opened fire with a Glock Model 23 .40-caliber handgun on FBI agents, wounding one while being injured himself.
Two federal judges have refused to allow him free on bond and he remains in jail, despite health issues. Wallace is out of jail on bond.
While both men face up to 10 years if convicted on the civil rights charges, Baldock, who was just elected in November 2018, could get as much as life for the use of a firearm and attempted murder charges stemming from the shoot out.
The civil rights violations allegedly started in mid-November 2018, shortly after Baldock, who had a law enforcement background in Casey County, was elected and joined with Wallace on what federal prosecutors say were unconstitutional actions that continued through at least September 2019, when Wallace began to get suspicious of the ongoing FBI investigation.
The new allegations suggest the two men continued their alleged pattern even after becoming suspicious of a federal probe.