Harrington man arrested on drug and other charges in Salisbury after interstate pursuit

SALISBURY – A combined law enforcement effort in Wicomico County, Md. led to the arrest Monday of a 35-year-old Harrington man 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.

According to Maryland State Police officials, the suspect was identified as Paul D. Jenkins, 35, of Harrington, Delaware.

After consultation with the Wicomico County State’s Attorney’s Office, Mr. 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 Maryland 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 Mr. Jenkins as a suspect in heroin distribution in the region.

Investigators learned that Mr. Jenkins would allegedly be transporting heroin yesterday in the Salisbury area.

Undercover police officers spotted Mr. Jenkins, driving a Ford Taurus with Delaware registration, in a parking lot of a shopping center in the 2700-block of N. Salisbury Blvd. at about 4 p.m., Oct. 19. A state trooper and Salisbury officer activated emergency equipment on their unmarked vehicle and stopped in front of Mr. Jenkins. Another trooper in an unmarked vehicle activated emergency equipment and stopped behind Mr. Jenkins.  Police officers wearing vests marked “police” approached the suspect on foot, identifying themselves as officers and repeatedly ordering him to show his hands.

Mr. Jenkins ignored police instructions and drove in reverse, striking the police car behind him with the trooper still inside.  Mr. 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, Maryland State Police officials said.

Police pursued Mr. 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 Road 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, according to police.

Mr. 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. Mr. 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 yesterday’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/.

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