State prosecutors have indicted a Baltimore police officer for allegedly planting heroin in a suspects car at the scene of a crash, according to ABC News.
The indictment is the most recent development in the Baltimore Police Department’s ongoing struggle with police seeming to plant evidence at crime scenes. Former Sgt. Wayne Earl Jenkins, 37, is one of several Baltimore police officers accused of misconduct. He stands charged with destruction and alteration or falsification of records as well as deprivation of rights. City prosecutors announced in September that they may have to drop more than 800 cases linked to the allegedly corrupt officers.
Jenkins and his partner were driving an unmarked police vehicle in 2010 when they began pursuing a vehicle driving erratically. The chase ended when the suspect, Umar Burley, crashed into another car while speeding through an intersection, killing an elderly driver.
The officers arrested Burley and his passenger, Brent Matthews, at the scene. Then Jenkins called for a third officer to search the vehicle, saying he had seen “stuff” in the car. The “stuff” turned out to be 28 grams of heroin, and the indictment alleges that Jenkins planted it there himself.
Jenkins later wrote in an allegedly false report that they recovered “32 individually wrapped pieces of plastic containing a tan powder substance,” according to ABC.
Jenkins also listened in on jail calls from Burley and Matthews after they’d been booked, learning they knew drugs had been planted in their car. He then informed his partner that he wouldn’t be able to testify if the case went to trial.
Nevertheless, the case ended with both the men getting sentenced on federal drug charges in 2011. Burley received a 15-year sentence, and Matthews got 46 months.
Jenkins was fired in July after Maryland launched an investigation of the case. He remains in jail awaiting trial, and the Justice Department has filed a petition to vacate the drug charges against Burley and Matthews.
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