UPDATE: Former constable sentenced to nearly a dozen years in federal prison
Former Pulaski County Constable Michael "Wally" Wallace was sentenced on Monday.
UPDATE POSTED 11:45 P.M. MONDAY, OCT. 18, 2021
LONDON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Former Pulaski County Constable Michael “Wally” Wallace was sentenced to 11 years and eight months in federal prison on Monday, according to federal court documents. He will have to serve at least 85 percent of that sentence under federal sentencing guidelines.
He was convicted in June on charges of conspiring to violate people’s civil rights and possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it, according to court documents. Prosecutors say Wallace didn’t plan on selling the drugs, but rather had the meth to plant it on people to justify bogus charges.
Despite the conviction, the 47-year old Wallace maintains his innocence and plans to appeal, according to court records.
Another former Pulaski County Constable, Gary Baldock, was convicted along with Wallace. He died in jail in August while awaiting sentencing. He was 56 at the time.
According to the evidence at trial, Wallace and Baldock worked together to violate the civil rights of individuals, by fabricating evidence that was used as a basis to arrest, to search, and to seize the property of others. Both Wallace and Baldock were also found guilty of illegally possessing methamphetamine, which they used to plant evidence on potential suspects, prosecutors said.
Wallace and Baldock were convicted of the charges by a federal jury in June 2021.
“Wallace betrayed the trust placed in him, abused his authority to violate the rights of others, and did a grave disservice to the law enforcement community,” said Carlton S. Shier, IV, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. “Instead of enforcing the law and protecting the public, he turned to corruption and self-interest. His prison sentence is well-deserved and should serve this message: such conduct has severe consequences and should not reflect on the hard work and dedication of so many in law enforcement – including the FBI agents who investigated this case and made this prosecution possible.”
“Wallace took an oath to faithfully protect and serve the citizens of Pulaski County. By blatantly violating that oath, he betrayed his community and those officers who work hard every day to gain the trust of the people they serve,” said Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen of the FBI’s Louisville Field Office. “With his sentencing, Wallace is being held accountable for his deplorable actions, and the FBI will continue to do everything in its power to bring corrupt police officers to justice.”
Upon his release from prison, he will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for four years.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI. The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Parman.
UPDATE POSTED 9 P.M. MONDAY, AUG. 23, 2021
PULASKI COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – Former Pulaski County Gary Baldock has died in jail.
Grayson County Coroner Joe Hudson confirmed Baldock was pronounced dead Monday morning in his cell at the Grayson County Detention Center where he was being held pending his sentencing next month on federal attempted murder, drug trafficking and civil rights violations charges.
Hudson said it appeared Baldock died of natural causes.
He was taken to the medical examiner for an autopsy Tuesday.
Baldock has had a number of health issues since his arrest in March 2020, including being taken to the hospital last week for gall bladder problems, but Hudson said it was unclear whether that contributed to his death.
While he’s been in custody since March 2020, several court motions dealt with his health issues and possible delays in trials related to those issues.
UPDATE POSTED 12 NOON TUESDAY, JULY 13, 2021
LONDON, Ky. (WTVQ) – As expected, former Pulaski County Constable Gary Baldock pleaded guilty today to attempted murder of an FBI agent (baldock plea agreement).
As part of his plea agreement with federal prosecutors, the 57-year-old Baldock also dropped his appeals of convictions last month of violating civil rights of Pulaski County residents during arrests and drug trafficking (baldock plea record).
He will be sentenced on all the counts on Oct. 18. He faces up[ to 20 years on the attempted murder charge and 10 years on the others. Federal prosecutors will drop a fourth charge concerning the use of a weapon in a crime of violence., That carried up to life in prison.
UPDATE POSTED 1 P.M. THURSDAY, JULY 8, 2021
SOMERSET, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Pulaski County constable charged with trying to kill an FBI agent during a shootout when he was being arrested in March 2020 intends to plead guilty to the charge next week.
In a motion filed this week in U.S. District Court, Gary Baldock, 57, says he wishes to change his plea in the case. Judge Robert Wier set a hearing for 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at federal court in London.
No terms of a potential plea agreement are listed in the court documents.
Baldock and fellow constable Michael Wallace were convicted by a federal court jury June 18 of violating the civil rights of suspects with threats, thefts and false accusations. They also were convicted of drug trafficking.
Wallace and Baldock are scheduled to be sentenced in October.
Baldock was charged separately after he got into a shoot out with FBI agents when they came to arrest him early in the morning of March 6, 2020. An agent and Baldock were injured.
He was charged with attempted murder and use of a weapon and faced up to life in prison if found guilty. He originally had pleaded not guilty.
The trial on those charges had been set for next week but has been continued until July 19 as part of the change-of-plea hearing now set for next week.
If he pleads guilty to the attempted murder charge, he faces up to 20 years in prison. The use of a weapon charge carries up to life in prison.
UPDATE, POSTED 6:27 P.M. MONDAY, JUNE 21, 2021:
LONDON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Federal prosecutors released a statement regarding the conviction of two Pulaski County constables.
Michael “Wally” Wallace, of Bronston, and Gary Baldock, of Somerset, were convicted Friday, June 18, of violating the civil rights of persons within Pulaski County, and of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
The jury decision came after a five-day trial.
“This case is a disgraceful example of a grave betrayal of trust, a profound violation of the rights of others, and a real danger to our community,” said Carlton S. Shier IV, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. “When those charged with enforcing the law and protecting the public turn instead to corruption, self-interest, and violating the rights of others, that does enduring damage to our communities. It also undermines the hard work and true dedication of so many. I want to thank the FBI and our trial team for the hard work and dedication that lead to these guilty verdicts.”
“As evidenced by the jury’s guilty verdict, the actions of the two Pulaski County constables were not only harmful to the individuals they swore under oath to protect, but they also undermined public trust and confidence in law enforcement,” said Special Agent in Charge Robert Brown of the FBI’s Louisville Field Office. “The FBI will not tolerate those who abuse their authority for their own personal gain and is committed to rooting out public corruption at all level.”
The verdict was announced jointly by Acting United States Attorney Shier and Special Agent in Charge Brown.
Wallace and Baldock will appear for sentencing on October 18, 2021. They each face up to 10 years for the civil rights convictions; Baldock faces up to 20 years for the methamphetamine conviction; and Wallace faces a minimum of five years, up to 40 years, for the methamphetamine conviction.
According to the statement, the Court must consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the applicable federal sentencing statutes before imposing a sentence.
UPDATE, POSTED 7:17 P.M. FRIDAY, JUNE 18, 2021:
LONDON, Ky. (WTVQ) – After about four hours of deliberations on Friday, a federal jury found two Pulaski County constables guilty of conspiring to violate people’s civil rights and possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute, according to media reports.
Michael “Wally” Wallace and Gary Baldock are scheduled to be sentenced in October of this year, according to reports. Appeals are possible, according to reports.
The two men were arrested in March of last year. Gary Baldock was involved in a shootout with the FBI during his arrest. An agent and Baldock were both wounded in an exchange of gunfire.
Wallace and Baldock were charged with conspiring to violate the constitutional rights of people by searching their homes without proper cause and taking money or other property from them, according to court records.
They were also accused of planting meth on people and places as part of a scheme to conduct illegal searches and seizures, according to court records.
Both men maintain their innocence.
UPDATE, POSTED 8 p.m. THURSDAY, JUNE 17, 2021
LONDON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A federal judge on Thursday declined to dismiss charges against two Pulaski County constables on trial for allegedly violating people’s rights through improper searches and seizures, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Defense attorneys for Michael “Wally” Wallace and Gary Baldock claimed the federal prosecutor hadn’t put on enough evidence at trial this week against the two men, according to the report.
The attorneys asked U.S. District Judge Robert E. Wier to acquit the two constables rather than allow a jury to decide their fate, according to the report.
Judge Wier ruled there was sufficient evidence to allow a jury to decide the case, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Wallace and Baldock are charged with conspiring to violate people’s rights and with possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it by allegedly planting the drug on people, according to court records.
Defense attorneys argue Wallace and Baldock never planted any drugs on anyone and never conducted any illegal searches or made illegal seizures.
The trial began on Monday. It was scheduled for up to eight days.
ORIGINAL STORY POSTED MONDAY JUNE 14, 2021
LONDON, Ky. (WTVQ) – On the opening day of a federal trial, a prosecutor told jurors Pulaski County Constables Michael “Wally” Wallace and Gary Baldock kept methamphetamine they could plant on people as part of a scheme to conduct false searches and seizures, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason D. Parman says FBI agents found 5.9 grams of meth at Wallace’s home and half a gram of the drug in a vehicle at Baldock’s home, according to the newspaper report.
Wallace’s attorney, Robert Norfleet, says Wallace had the meth while waiting to store it elsewhere, and attorneys for both defendants told jurors the two constables never planted drug evidence on anyone and are innocent, according to the newspaper report.
Wallace and Baldock are charged with conspiring to violate the constitutional rights of people by searching their homes without proper cause and taking money or other property from them, according to court records.
The two also face a charge of possessing meth with intent to distribute because of the allegation they planted the meth, which would count as distribution under federal law, according to the newspaper report.
Baldock is also charged with shooting and wounding an FBI agent during the arrest at Baldock’s home in March 2020. Baldock was wounded in the exchange of gunfire, according to court records.
Prosecutor Parman says the investigation into the constables began after three Somerset police officers saw Wallace do something that concerned them, according to the newspaper report.
The FBI later had an informant call Wallace’s drug tip line about a possible drug dealer coming to Pulaski County; however, the supposed drug dealer was an undercover FBI agent who had more than $10,000 in cash in his truck and hotel room, according to the report. Prosecutor Parman says Wallace and Baldock falsely arrested the undercover agent on a charge of public intoxication, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.
Baldock’s attorney, John Kevin West, says there’s no evidence Baldock agreed to violate people’s civil rights, according to the report. Wallace’s lawyer says it wouldn’t have made sense for Wallace to plant drugs with other police on the scene, and pointed out Wallace didn’t steal any of the money the undercover FBI agent had when he arrested him, according to the report.
Prosecutor Parman says other witnesses will testify at trial about the constables stealing property and arresting them without cause, or conducting unconstitutional searches, according to the newspaper report.
The trial is being held in U.S. District Court in London. It could last up to eight days.