BALTIMORE, Md. (DC News Now) — Frederick County Sheriff Charles “Chuck” Jenkins was in U.S. District Court Wednesday where he entered a not guilty plea to charges related to an alleged plan to purchase machine guns illegally.

Hours after Jenkins’ arraignment, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office said Jenkins was taking a leave of absence.

“Out of respect for the men and women of this agency and not to interfere with the effective operations, I am going to take a leave of absence, effective end of business, Friday, April 14, through the end of this judicial process,” Jenkins said in a news release. “I have full confidence in the system, and I know that my innocence will prevail at the end of all of this and that I will be found not guilty.”

A grand jury indicted Jenkins, 66, of Thurmont, Md. and Robert Justin Krop, 36, of Frederick, Md. on charges of conspiracy and making false statements in order to acquire machine guns. Krop also faces a charge of illegal possession of machine guns.

According to the indictment, Jenkins and Krop knew that there would not be a demonstration of the machine guns to the sheriff’s office and that the machine guns were intended for rental to Krop’s customers. Krop also allegedly illegally possessed seven machine guns. The indictment further states that Krop’s business offered political support to Jenkins in recognition of his support for the business.

Three of the charges against Jenkins carry a maximum sentence of 5 years each, and one of them carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.

The federal court judge Wednesday said Jenkins had to surrender all firearms and service weapons.

In Jenkins’ absence, Col. David Benjamin will assume the responsibilities of sheriff.