Major Heroin Bust In Wicomico After Wild Chase

SALISBURY — A Delaware man, suspected of being a major heroin supplier in Wicomico and across the Lower Shore, was arrested this week and charged with multiple counts of assault and drug distribution after a traffic stop turned demolition derby on Monday.

A combined law enforcement effort in Wicomico County on Monday afternoon resulted in the arrest of Paul D. Jenkins, 35, of Harrington, Del., and the recovery of over 500 bags of heroin packaged for street sales. A cooperative investigation between the Eastern Shore Gang Enforcement Unit and the Salisbury Police Department, with assistance from the Wicomico County Narcotics Task Force, led to the identification of Jenkins as a suspect in heroin distribution in the region. On Monday, investigators developed information Jenkins would be transporting heroin in the Salisbury area.

Around 4 p.m. on Monday, undercover police officers spotted Jenkins in a vehicle in the parking lot of a shopping center on N. Salisbury Blvd. A Maryland State Police trooper and a Salisbury Police officer activated emergency equipment on their unmarked vehicles and stopped in front of Jenkins’ vehicle. Another MSP trooper in an unmarked vehicle pulled in behind Jenkins’ vehicle.

Officers wearing vests marked “police” approached Jenkins on foot, identified themselves as officers and reported ordered the suspect to show them his hands. Jenkins continued to ignore police instructions and drove in reverse, striking the police car behind him with an MSP trooper still inside. According to police reports, Jenkins then drove directly at another MSP trooper, who was able to jump out of the way to avoid being struck.

Jenkins then drove north on Route 13, driving recklessly and at a high rate of speed, according to police reports. At one point, Jenkins’ vehicle collided with a pick-up truck, but did not stop and continued driving north on Route 13 while making unsafe lane changes, running cars off the road and driving on the shoulder at speeds topping 100 miles per hour.

Police pursued Jenkins along Route 13 into Delaware and the Delaware State Police joined the chase. Jenkins drove north on Route 113 until he cut through the median north of Snake Rd. and turned south. At that point, police were able to position their vehicles around Jenkins’ vehicle and block him in. As they were doing so, Jenkins was seen throwing a bag out of the vehicle’s window, according to police reports.

Jenkins continued to resist attempts to arrest him, but was eventually taken into custody. Officers recovered the bag thrown from his window and found 520 bags of suspected heroin packaged for street sales. Emergency medical services were called to the scene and Jenkins was transported to PRMC where he was examined and released. No other police officers or citizens were injured during the incident, including the driver of the pick-up truck and the MSP trooper struck while in his car during the initial arrest attempt.

Jenkins has been charged with five counts of first-degree and second-degree assault, possession with intent to distribute heroin, possession of heroin and paraphernalia and multiple traffic violations related to the chase. At a bail review hearing on Tuesday, Jenkins was ordered to be held without bond. A preliminary hearing has been set for November 12.

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