Two Pulaski County constables took part in arresting an undercover FBI task force officer for public intoxication even though he was not impaired, the officer testified Tuesday.
The FBI was trying to figure out if constables Mike “Wally” Wallace and Gary E. Baldock would steal money from the undercover officer or plant drugs to falsely arrest him.
Another witness in the federal case against the constables testified that Wallace purported to find drugs in his car during a traffic even though he had no drugs in the car.
“There was no dope in my car when I got pulled over that I was aware of,” Timothy Sizemore said.
Wallace’s attorney, Robert Norfleet, has said Wallace found drugs in a small container inside a pair of gloves in Sizemore’s car.
Tuesday was the second day of the trial for Wallace and Baldock. They are charged with conspiring to violate people’s constitutional rights through improper searches of their homes and vehicles and by taking money or other property from them.
Constables are elected in Kentucky and have full police powers.
Wallace and Baldock also are charged with possessing methamphetamine to distribute it. The prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason D. Parman, told jurors both men had meth at their homes to use in planting on people to falsely arrest them.
In addition, Baldock is charged with shooting an FBI agent when authorities came to his home in Somerset to arrest him in March 2020. Agents shot back and wounded Baldock; the agent and Baldock both survived.
Baldock is to be tried later on that charge, apart from Wallace.
Attorneys for Wallace and Baldock told jurors they did not conduct improper searches or plant drugs on people, and are innocent of the charges.
The investigation of the constables started after three Somerset police officers reported suspicions about Wallace planting drugs on Sizemore.
Wallace had asked police to back him up after stopping Sizemore’s car on South Main Street in Somerset.
Two officers, Andrew Salmons and Nick Taylor, said they had searched Sizemore’s car and found no drugs, but that Wallace then walked to the driver side door, walked away after just a second or two and said he had found drugs in a small pill container.
Officer James Mayfield said that as Wallace walked past him toward the car, he said “Watch this s--t.”
Norfleet said Wallace found the pill container inside a pair of gloves in the car door.
Salmons said he did not search the gloves and did not see Wallace plant the pill container, but the way he discovered it raised suspicions.
Sizemore, who has a felony conviction and currently faces drug charges, said he had used meth with a woman at a motel in Somerset before the traffic stop, but didn’t have any more and told Wallace that he had no drugs in the car.
Wallace responded that if Sizemore was saying he had planted drugs, he would kick his ass, Sizemore said.
As part of the investigation, the FBI sent an undercover task force officer to Somerset to see how Wallace and Baldock would interact with him.
The FBI had a man call in an anonymous tip to Wallace that a suspected drug dealer would be in a pickup truck in the parking lot at Somerset Mall on Sept. 24, 2019.
The constables approached the man, who was using the alias Kareem Pinkney, handcuffed him and used a dog to sniff for drugs.
Pinkney had $11,000 in cash in his pocket and a key to a hotel room in Somerset.
When the constables found no drugs in the truck, Wallace sought and received a warrant to search Pinkney’s hotel room, but found no drugs there either.
Pinkney said he told the constables several times he had no drugs, but Wallace threatened Pinkney with a lengthy prison sentence as he pushed him to tell the constables about his drug connection in Somerset.
There were recording devices in the truck, the hotel room and in Pinkney’s cell phone.
“You keep (expletive) with me and so help me God I will see that you die in federal prison,” Wallace said on a video played for the jury.
Pinkney said he had not taken any drugs or used any alcohol. The constables did not tell him they observed him to be impaired, but Wallace ultimately told him he was going to jail for public intoxication, Pinkney said.
“He won’t get his money back. He won’t get his truck. He won’t get s--t,” Wallace could be heard saying on the recording.
In questioning by Norfleet, however, Pinkney said Wallace did not plant drugs on him during the incident.