Suspected heroin dealer arrested after pursuit

A combined law enforcement effort in Wicomico County led to the arrest 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.

Paul D. Jenkins, 35, of Harrington, 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.

Undercover police officers spotted Jenkins, driving a Ford Taurus with Delaware registration, in the parking lot of a shopping center on North Salisbury Boulevard. 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.

Police said 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 Route 13 at high speed. The Taurus struck a Ford pickup, but did not stop and continued north, running cars off the road, and driving onto the shoulder at speeds over 100 mph.

Police pursued Jenkins and the pursuit continued into Delaware. The suspect drove north until he cut through the median north of East 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, police said, the suspect was seen throwing a bag out of the car.

Police recovered the bag thrown from the car and inside found 520 bags of suspected heroin, packaged for street sales.

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.

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