Criminal Charges Piling Up Against Former Baltimore Police Officer
New details emerged in the ongoing legal probe of Wayne Earl Jenkins, a former Baltimore cop with a checkered history of police misconduct, as reported by CBS News. The latest indictment adds several criminal charges, alleging that Jenkins planted drugs and tricked a fellow officer into locating the contraband.
The drug planting incident occurred back in 2010. At that time, Jenkins was part of the Gun Trace Task Force, a special unit designed to remove illegal weapons from street activity. But the task force allegedly abused their power and left many crime victims in their wake. Among other misdeeds, the task force allegedly arrested suspects without probable cause, stole personal property, entered false police reports and covered up their own criminal actions through lies, fraud and deceit.
In the latest indictment, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) contend that Jenkins planted the drugs to wrongfully convict two innocent men. Jenkins then made a patsy out of one of his fellow officers, who was referred to as “Officer No. 1” in several legal documents.
Following Jenkins’ directions, Officer No. 1 found 28 grams of heroin divided into 32 bags in the suspect’s car. As a result of this drug planting incident, two innocent men went to prison. One man received a 15-year sentence, which was reduced in August 2017 to time served. The other man received a four-year sentence, of which he served approximately two and a half years.
In the course of their investigation into Jenkins’ illegal activities, the U.S. Attorney and the FBI planned to solicit testimony from Officer No. 1. But one day before his scheduled testimony, Officer No. 1 was murdered in West Baltimore while investigating a triple homicide. The murder remains unsolved, with authorities offering a $215,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.
Jenkins is presently waiting for his next court date, which is slated for January 2018.
Before this latest indictment, Jenkins faced charges of criminal racketeering and fraud. If the Jenkins is convicted for all five counts in the latest indictment, it could add an additional 20 years to his sentence.
Perhaps the most unfortunate part of this ongoing saga is that it feels like old news. Jenkins has a history of police misconduct stretching back years. Back in 2007, Iamele & Iamele, LLP filed suit against Jenkins and other members of his special enforcement unit. Given the impact of this latest news development, it feels like a great time to dive into the Iamele & Iamele archives to review the factual background and legal result of this past case.
Late in the evening of October 8, 2005, and into the early hours of the next morning, Jenkins with the aid of another police officers physically attacked an innocent man..
Our Plaintiff, the victim of that attack, crossed paths with Jenkins and several members of his unit outside of a downtown restaurant. A comment about soccer resulted in a verbal argument between our Plaintiff and the unit Sergeant (Jenkins commander and a member of our Plaintiff’s indoor soccer league). Out of nowhere, a uniformed police officer knocked Plaintiff to the ground. The same uniformed officer restrained Plaintiff against the ground by holding a baton to his throat. Then an undercover police officer joined the fray, attacking Plaintiff as well. The undercover officer crouched down and began striking our Plaintiff in the face with a closed fist. Prior to the assault, our Plaintiff had not made any overt threats, nor had he acted in a violent manner towards any of the officers who were present in the area. Following the assault, the officers simply left the scene; Our Plaintiff was not arrested nor was he charged with any crime.
Blindsided by the attack, Plaintiff was not able to identify his attackers with complete certainty. But two witnesses with clear views of the attack were able to provide more detail.
A male witness stated that he left the bar Plaintiff. At that time, Plaintiff was not injured. Without warning five police officers – two in uniforms and three undercover – converged on the scene. The male witness identified Jenkins as the undercover cop who struck Plaintiff repeatedly in the face. The male witness also stated that the other police officers were present for and aware of Jenkins attacking Plaintiff.
A female witness also saw the police officers converge on Plaintiff. She stated that Plaintiff did nothing to instigate the attack. She also reported the uniformed officer who restrained Plaintiff with a police baton. Additionally, the female witness identified Jenkins as the attacker who struck Plaintiff repeatedly with blows to the face. After the police officers left the scene, the female witness applied basic first aid to Plaintiff and called for an ambulance.
This witness testimony was supported by surveillance images that Iamele & Iamele obtained from a nearby convenience stores. The images depicted Jenkins speaking with the other officers inside that store, and appeared to show him demonstrating a portion of the assault by gesticulating with a closed fist. The images also showed Jenkins washing some substance, believed to be blood, from his hands in the convenience store’s sink.
As a result of the attack, Plaintiff sustained a fracture of the orbital wall behind his eye. Medical images from the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center confirmed this injury. The Plaintiff went through two separate surgeries to treat the orbital wall fracture.
Acting on behalf of Plaintiff, Iamele & Iamele filed an action against Jenkins and the other police officers, alleging:
- False Arrest;
- False Imprisonment; and
- Violation of Maryland Civil Rights.
The trial began in the Baltimore City Circuit Court on August 6, 2007. After attorneys for both Plaintiff and Jenkins presented arguments and evidence, the jury deliberated and reached a verdict on August 10, 2007.
The jury rendered a verdict in favor of Plaintiff and against Jenkins. The jury awarded Plaintiff $75,000. The jury award included the standard interest rate provided by law. The jury award also provided for costs associated with conspiracy and violation of Maryland Civil Rights under the Maryland Declaration of Rights.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
A police misconduct case takes a heavy toll on everyone involved. In order to move forward, it can be helpful to consult with a trusted police misconduct attorney. Don’t hesitate to contact Iamele & Iamele, LLP in Baltimore, Maryland, today.