The Washington County Sheriff’s Office has charged a Smithsburg man with 1count of False Statement to Officer and 40 counts of False Statement State Official.
On April 30, 2017 Thomas Gillen sent an email to Sheriff Mullendore and several other elected officials in reference to a drug trafficking complaint. In the email, Gillen purported himself as “Jason Stewart” who stayed at a hotel on the Dual Highway on the weekend of April 28th, 2017.
Gillen fabricated a story of jogging by a South Colonial Drive address, where later it was discovered that his estranged family was staying, and witnessing a drug transaction.
After the anonymous drug tip didn’t result in an immediate arrest, he began an email thread that continued to grow with more and more fabricated details trying to influence public officials to demand action be taken.
Gillen’s emails were directed at Sheriff Mullendore containing false information which caused an investigation to ensue, which resulted in the Washington County Narcotics Task Force to spend at least 47.5 hours investigating the claim. Gillen’s emails to other elected officials resulted in numerous phone calls/emails to ensure that an investigation was taking place.
The peak of Gillen’s efforts to fabricate a story that could result in an investigation and arrest was his May 17th, 2017 email to 123 recipients. This email lodged the same statement and complaint of the commission of a crime to government officials and agencies with clear intent on the officials/ agencies investigating the claims.
Gillen was arrested via warrant on and transported to Central Booking for processing.