Eastern Shore Police Beat: Reason for running from cops at 100 mph: 500 bags of heroin

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Reason for running from cops at 100 mph: 500 bags of heroin

(SALISBURY, MD) – Police say that a man who is a registered sex offender in Delaware led them on a chase through Delaware and Maryland before being apprehended with a large supply of heroin. During the process of attempting to elude the cops, he drove into one police cruiser and attempted to run over a trooper who was on foot.

Paul D. Jenkins of Harrington Del. led police on high speed chase. Nabbed with 520 bags of heroin.

Paul D. Jenkins of Harrington Del. led police on high speed chase. Nabbed with 520 bags of heroin.

A combined law enforcement effort in Wicomico County led to the arrest on Oct. 21, 2015 of a suspect believed to be involved in the distribution of heroin in the region and the recovery of more than 500 bags of heroin packaged for street sales.

The suspect is identified as Paul D. Jenkins, 35, of Harrington, Delaware.  After consultation with the Wicomico County State’s Attorney’s Office, Jenkins was charged with five counts of first degree assault, five counts of second degree assault, possession with the intent to distribute heroin, possession of heroin, and possession of drug paraphernalia.  He was also charged with 10 traffic offenses, including failing to stop at a property damage accident, failing to stop at a red light, failing to stop at a stop sign, unsafe passing on the shoulder, and speeding.

A cooperative investigation between the Eastern Shore Gang Enforcement Unit and the Salisbury Police Department, with assistance from the Wicomico County Narcotics Task Force, designated as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Unit, led to the identification of Jenkins as a suspect in heroin distribution in the region.  Information was developed by investigators indicating Jenkins would be transporting heroin yesterday in the Salisbury area.

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Undercover police officers spotted Jenkins, driving a Ford Taurus with Delaware registration, in the parking lot of a shopping center in the 2700-block of N. Salisbury Blvd. at about 4:00 p.m. yesterday.  A state trooper and Salisbury officer activated emergency equipment on their unmarked vehicle and stopped in front of Jenkins.  Another trooper in an unmarked vehicle activated emergency equipment and stopped behind Jenkins.  Police officers wearing vests marked “police” approached the suspect on foot, identifying themselves as officers and repeatedly ordering him to show his hands.

Jenkins ignored police instructions and drove in reverse, striking the police car behind him with the trooper still inside.  Jenkins then drove forward directly at another trooper who was able jump out of the way before being struck. The suspect headed north on Rt. 13, driving recklessly and at high speed.  The Taurus struck a Ford pickup, but did not stop and continued north on Rt. 13 while making unsafe lane changes, running cars off the road, and driving onto the shoulder at speeds over 100 mph.

Police pursued Jenkins and Delaware State Police were notified.  The pursuit continued into Delaware on Rt. 13.  The suspect drove north until he cut through the median north of E. Snake Rd. and turned south.  Police were able to position vehicles around the suspect’s car and block it in.  As they were doing so, the suspect was seen throwing a bag out of the car.

Jenkins continued to resist attempts to arrest him but, after a brief struggle, was taken into custody.  Police recovered the bag thrown from the car and inside found 520 bags of suspected heroin, packaged for street sales.

Emergency medical services personnel were called to the scene and Jenkins was transported to Peninsula Regional Medical Center, where he was examined and released.  He was taken to the Salisbury Barrack and later transported to the Wicomico County Detention Center’s central booking facility for processing and his initial appearance before a court commissioner.

No police officers or citizens were injured during the incident.  This includes the driver of the pickup truck hit by the suspect on Rt. 13 and the trooper struck while in his car during the initial arrest attempt.

The Eastern Shore Gang Enforcement Unit is comprised of Salisbury Police Department officers who are members of their Safe Streets Team and Maryland State Police troopers assigned to the Criminal Enforcement Division.  The unit focuses on a variety of criminal investigations and their involvement in a case does not mean the person arrested is a member of a criminal gang.

Police departments assisting in the investigation and Jenkins’s arrest include the Wicomico County Narcotics Task Force, the Salisbury Police Department, Delmar Police, Maryland State Police, including the Salisbury Barrack and the Firearms Unit, and the Delaware State Police.  The Wicomico County Narcotics Task Force is comprised of the Maryland State Police, the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Department, the Salisbury City Police Department, the Fruitland Police Department, and the Wicomico County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Cooperative law enforcement investigations like this will continue as police focus efforts on the distribution and use of heroin throughout Maryland.  For information about heroin, or how to get help for someone believed to be using heroin, call 211, or visit http://bha.dhmh.maryland.gov/.

A taxpayer provided attorney has been assigned to represent Jenkins.

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