Baltimore Police sergeant planted drugs in suspect’s car, federal prosecutors say

A former Baltimore Police officer has been indicted for allegedly planting evidence in a suspect’s car during a 2010 arrest, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.

Former Sgt. Wayne Earl Jenkins, 37, allegedly planted heroin in a car after a driver who police were pursuing crashed into another car, prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Maryland said in a press release.

A fatal crash

On April 28, 2010, Jenkins was driving an unmarked Baltimore Police Department vehicle with another officer in the passenger seat when he — along with a second officer in an unmarked car — began to pursue the car, the press release states. The suspect, Umar Burley, who was driving at a high speed with passenger Brent Matthews in the passenger seat, struck a car at an intersection, and the impact sent the car into the front porch of a nearby row house, federal prosecutors said. The elderly driver of the other car became trapped and later died that day.

Raymond Boyd/Getty Images, FILE
The doors to a Baltimore City Police Department Substation are pictured on April 9, 2015 in Baltimore.

There were no drugs inside the car prior to the crash, the indictment alleges. After the crash, and after the pair had been arrested, Jenkins told the fellow officer who was riding in the passenger seat of his car to call a sergeant who was not at the scene because he had the “stuff” in his car, according to the court documents.

After medical personnel arrived, Jenkins then told the officer that the “stuff” was in the crashed car and that he was going to tell the third officer — who had been driving a separate unmarked vehicle — to find it because that officer was “clueless,” according to the indictment.

Allegations of planting evidence

The officer then found about 28 grams of heroin that “Jenkins had planted in the vehicle,” the court document says. Later that day, Jenkins allegedly wrote a false statement of probable cause, where he claimed that “32 individually wrapped pieces of plastic containing a tan powder substance” were recovered.

Jenkins “knew the heroin … had been planted,” the indictment alleges.

Later, Jenkins listened to recorded jail calls between Burley and Matthews, which indicated that they were aware that the heroin in the car had been planted, the court document states. Jenkins then told the officer who had been his passenger that he could not testify in the case if it went to trial because “something had been put in the car,”…

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