When the Baltimore Police Gun Trace Task Force corruption case went to trial in early 2018, Ethan Glover was called as a government witness to describe his role as a Drug Enforcement Administration task force officer who collected a large amount of cash from a seizure made by the crooked officers.

Two years later, when Glover was summoned again to talk with federal agents, he could feel the tone had shifted. He had become a target.

“I was insulted and became angry,” Glover told jurors Thursday. “I hadn’t stolen any money or drugs, in that case or any other.”

Glover testified in his own defense, denying charges that he stole money from a massive drug bust in 2016, pocketed money intended for a confidential informant, and lied to federal investigators about both. He spent about four hours on the stand.

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Federal prosecutors’ case relies on Glover’s ex-fiancée, who says Glover stashed at her home $10,000 skimmed from a drug bust, and a tally sheet from a Mexican cartel member who said duffel bags of money found in his basement as part of that bust contained $10,000 more than what authorities say was officially reported.

Larry Evans — a friend of Glover’s who he signed up as a confidential informant — also testified that he changed his mind about providing information for a case, and gave Glover $1,000 he was given for that role to return it. But authorities don’t have a record of Glover returning that money.

Defense attorneys say prosecutors are reaching in their case against Glover, who spent seven years assigned to a high-profile task force within the DEA. Attorney Joseph Murtha noted that Glover was charged on the very last day before a five-year statute of limitations to charge him expired.

Baltimore Police are required to call the DEA to collect any cash seizure over $10,000, and on at least three occasions Glover was called to collect money from seizures made by Sgt. Wayne Jenkins, Glover’s training academy classmate and the leader of the corrupt Gun Trace Task Force. Jenkins is serving 25 years in prison.

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Glover was summoned by Jenkins to a home in Northeast Baltimore in April 2016, a case in which cooperating officers later testified that they cracked open a safe, removed money, then closed it back up and filmed a video purporting to open it for the first time. After his arrest, Jenkins wrote a letter to co-conspirator Donald Stepp in which he said Glover’s account would help clear him of wrongdoing. Glover testified that while there were “always mumbles” about Jenkins being corrupt, he didn’t know anything.

Jenkins attempted to cooperate with the government, but was ultimately dismissed as untrustworthy and never called to testify. Nonetheless, the FBI engaged with Glover in February 2020 over an allegation made by Jenkins, asking him about a 2013 bust in Baltimore County in which money was taken from a drug dealer named Thomas “Pooda” Jones.

Glover testified that he ended the meeting with the agents once he sensed he was under suspicion, and went on to be suspended from working with the DEA. He is not charged in connection with the Jones bust.

Prior to his suspension, Glover said, he believed he had “made it” — rising through the ranks to one of the most elite assignments in the Baltimore Police Department. He grew up in Northeast Baltimore, was the captain of the basketball team at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, attended Morgan State University, and joined the BPD in 2003 after working in the telecom industry. He started in patrol, but was quickly promoted into the department’s plainclothes units.

When Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine Goo asked Glover if that meant he worked in the notorious “jumpout squads,” Glover said he was unfamiliar with the term.

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Glover’s DEA group scored a massive haul in April 2016, intercepting a shipment of 31 kilograms of cocaine and finding $2.4 million in the basement of a home. Glover was assigned to transport the cash, contained in three duffel bags, back to the DEA.

“None of us had ever seen that much money,” Glover said.

His ex-fiancee, Kim Campbell, testified Tuesday that he called her afterward and said he had pulled a stack of $10,000 out of the bag while driving, and stashed it at her place. She said he later came to collect it, hid it behind his refrigerator and took her shopping for $300 flip flops.

Glover testified that he secured the money in his trunk, not his back seat, and despite the fact that a slew of agents and task force officers took part in the staggering bust, no one during the trial could corroborate or refute Glover’s account of where the money was placed. They also did not follow DEA policy — money is supposed to be placed in evidence bags at the scene, but Glover said supervisors told him to keep it in the duffel bags.

“There was never a time where you were in a position to try to access that money outside of the presence of another person?” Murtha asked.

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“Never,” Glover said.

He said by the time they were finished, it was in the early morning and he went straight home — not to Campbell’s place in Owings Mills.

Glover and Campbell later separated, and his attorney says she made up the allegation to get back at him. Prosecutors noted that the FBI approached Campbell in December 2020 with an open-ended question about whether she ever saw him with large amounts of money.

Glover also dismissed the allegation from Evans, a friend who he rode motorcycles with who wanted to report information about a vehicular homicide. Documentation shows that Glover signed up Evans as an informant, but Glover denied that Evans backed out or returned money.

Closing arguments are scheduled for Monday morning, and then the jurors will begin deliberations.


Justin Fenton is an investigative reporter for the Baltimore Banner. He previously spent 17 years at the Baltimore Sun, covering the criminal justice system. His book, "We Own This City: A True Story of Crime, Cops and Corruption," was released by Random House in 2021 and became an HBO miniseries.

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