A Baltimore businessman pleaded guilty Monday to bribing former Maryland Del. Cheryl Glenn to introduce legislation and help at least two companies obtain medical cannabis-related licenses.
Lance Lucas, 44, pleaded guilty to honest services wire fraud and violation of the Travel Act for communications and payments made to Glenn, a Baltimore Democrat who resigned last year shortly before her guilty plea to similar charges was unsealed.
Lucas was employed by a company that developed the curriculum for the Cyber Warrior Diversity Program — a cybersecurity training program at Maryland colleges — and assisted other companies involved in growing and distributing medical marijuana, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Lucas admitted to paying Glenn a total of $42,500 in exchange for various official actions between May 2018 and July 2019.
Separately, Glenn admitted to receiving $33,750 in bribes from an associate, according to her plea agreement.
Prosecutors say Lucas paid Glenn to introduce a bill to award contracts to the Cyber Warrior Diversity Program, obtain final approval for a medical cannabis dispensary license for one company and ensure that another company received a medical cannabis growing license.
Glenn resigned abruptly just weeks ahead of the start of the 2020 Maryland General Assembly session. She pleaded guilty July 24, 2019, to soliciting and taking bribes in exchange for backing legislation related to cannabis, opioids and alcohol between March 2018 and February 2019. Her plea agreement was not unsealed until December.
Glenn’s interactions with Lucas involved legislation and actions not detailed in her own plea agreement.
Lucas met Glenn in May 2018 and discussed “Company 2” and the costs it had incurred attempting to get a medical cannabis dispensary license, according to the statement of facts attached to the plea agreement. Glenn told Lucas the company could have given her that money and she would have gotten the license awarded.
Lucas gave Glenn four $500 money orders and Glenn arranged an August 2018 meeting with representatives from the company and the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, according to the statement of facts. After the meeting, Glenn and Lucas exchanged text messages and Lucas “guaranteed” his help with Glenn’s campaign finances.
In the following months, Lucas met with Glenn and provided cash payments and checks, according to the statement of facts.
In February 2019, Lucas told Glenn he believed Senate legislation revising the Cyber Warrior Diversity Program, which was created in 2018, would have a better chance if Glenn also filed the bill in the House of Delegates, according to the statement of facts. She did so and Lucas paid her $1,500, according to the statement.
On March 4, 2019, Lucas paid Glenn again and she informed him of a “slight problem” with the House Rules Committee, saying the bill had not been voted out of committee, according to the statement of facts. Glenn told Lucas she knew a member of the Rules Committee, referred to by prosecutors as a fictitious “Delegate 1,” who wanted $1,000 in exchange for passing the bill.
At that same meeting, Lucas proposed paying Glenn up to $80,000 for her assistance securing a medical marijuana growing license for “Company 3,” which wanted to be sure it was selected by the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, according to the statement of facts. Glenn agreed to consider what could be done.
Lucas continued to meet with Glenn to discuss the bill and assistance with the unnamed company’s license and to provide payments, according to the statement of facts. At one point, Glenn said she was nervous about the risk she was taking helping Lucas. He responded: “I’m from Baltimore for real. … This is the least illegal thing I’ve ever done. This is like pattycake compared to the s–t in Baltimore city.”
Lucas made additional payments to Glenn at meetings in April and May 2019, a portion of which was to be used to bribe a fictitious Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission employee, according to the statement of facts.
Glenn is scheduled to be sentenced in May.