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Culpeper sheriff bribery trial moved; co-defendants plead guilty

Scott Jenkins was elected sheriff in 2011, and was ousted last November after being indicted on 13 federal charges.
Randi B. Hagi
Scott Jenkins was elected sheriff in 2011, and was ousted last November after being indicted on 13 federal charges.

The former sheriff of Culpeper County is now scheduled to go to trial in July on 13 federal charges of conspiracy, fraud, and bribery. His three co-defendants have all pled guilty. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

As of last week, the third and final co-conspirator has pled guilty in the alleged badges-for-cash scheme orchestrated by former Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins and an unnamed auxiliary deputy. Jenkins stands accused of accepting more than $72,000 in bribes in exchange for appointing people as auxiliary deputy sheriffs – which he said would allow them to carry a concealed firearm in any state without a permit.

The three co-defendants, all businessmen from Northern Virginia, are now awaiting sentencing on October 7th. Jenkins' trial is scheduled for July 22 - 30 in the Charlottesville federal courthouse before Senior Judge Norman K. Moon. The continuance order notes that the prosecution stems from a multi-year investigation, and the "vast amount" of evidence includes many audio and video recordings.

Three statements of facts signed by each co-defendant lay out how each bribe was made, ranging from $5,000 to more than $25,000 in exchange for auxiliary deputy appointments in Culpeper County, where none of them lived.

Fredric Gumbinner and James Metcalf each pled guilty to one count of bribery involving federal programs, which carries a maximum fine of $250,000 and/or a 10-year prison sentence. Rick Rahim pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and one count of honest services mail fraud, which together carry a maximum fine of $500,000 and a 25-year prison sentence. Rahim has unspecified prior felony convictions which prevented him from owning firearms. According to the statements, Jenkins had arranged a fake lease agreement for Rahim to claim Culpeper County residency, and pressured circuit court officials to grant Rahim's petition for the restoration of his firearm rights.

The U.S. Department of Justice reported last month that Rahim also pled guilty in a separate federal case for failing to pay more than $1.8 million in taxes to the IRS.

Randi B. Hagi first joined the WMRA team in 2019 as a freelance reporter. Her writing and photography have been featured in The Harrisonburg Citizen, where she previously served as the assistant editor; as well as The Mennonite; Mennonite World Review; and Eastern Mennonite University's Crossroads magazine.
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