Former Baltimore City Sergeant Indicted For Planting Evidence
Planted evidence resulted in the Federal conviction and imprisonment of two men; The United States asks the Court to vacate the convictions
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact ELIZABETH MORSE
www.justice.gov/usao/md at (410) 209-4885
Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury has indicted former Sergeant Wayne Earl Jenkins, age 37, of Middle River, Maryland, today on charges relating to a 2010 arrest based in part on planted evidence. Jenkins has been charged with Destruction, Alteration, or Falsification of Records in Federal Investigations and Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law.
The indictment was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Stephen M. Schenning and Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office.
According to the five-count indictment, on April 28, 2010, Jenkins, driving an unmarked Baltimore Police Department (BPD) vehicle with Officer #2 as his passenger, and Officer #1, who was also driving an unmarked BPD vehicle, engaged in a vehicle pursuit of a car driven by U.B. B.M. was a passenger in the car driven by U.B.
At the intersection of Belle Avenue and Gwynn Oak Avenue, U.B., who was driving at a high speed, struck a car entering the intersection. The impact of the collision was so great that the car was pushed onto the front porch of a row house on the corner of the intersection. The car was operated by an elderly man whose wife was a passenger. The elderly driver was trapped in the car after the collision and died later that day.
The indictment alleges there were no drugs in the car driven by U.B. prior to the crash. After the crash, and after U.B. and B.M. had been arrested, Jenkins told Officer #2 to call a Sergeant who was not at the scene because he had the “stuff” in his car.
After emergency medical personnel arrived on the scene, Officer #2 returned to Jenkins who was standing near U.B. and B.M.’s car. At that time, Jenkins told Officer #2 that the “stuff” was in the car, referring to U.B. and B.M.’s car, and that Jenkins was going to send Officer #1 to the car to find it because Officer #1 was “clueless.” Sometime later, Officer #2 saw Officer #1 searching the car. Officer #1 signaled that he had found something.
Officer #1 found approximately 28 grams of heroin that Jenkins had planted in the vehicle. Later that day, Jenkins authored a false Statement of Probable Cause where he claimed that “32 individually wrapped pieces of plastic containing a tan powder substance each weighing approximately one gram (all of which was suspected high purity heroin)” was recovered from U.B.’s car by Officer #1. The indictment charges that Jenkins knew the heroin in U.B.’s car had been planted.
Following the incident and arrest, Jenkins listened to recorded jail calls of U.B. and B.M. After having listened to these calls, Jenkins told Officer #2 that U.B. and B.M. were saying that the heroin recovered from the car had been planted on them. Jenkins told Officer #2 that he could not testify if the case went to trial because “something had been put in the car,” referring to the heroin that had been planted in U.B.’s car.
Based on the false police report, U.B. and B.M. were charged with, and imprisoned for, federal drug charges for the heroin that had been planted in U.B.’s car.
Jenkins is presently awaiting trial on January 16, 2018 on criminal racketeering and fraud charges. Jenkins now faces an additional sentence of 20 years in prison for the additional charges. Jenkins remains detained.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
The United States Attorneys Office filed a petition for a writ of coram nobis to vacate the Federal convictions of U.B. and B.M.
PETITION FOR A WRIT OF CORUM NOBIS TO VACATE CONVICTIONS
The United States has filed a petition for a writ of corum nobis in United States v. Burley and Matthews, Cr. No. 11-74-RDB, to vacate the federal drug convictions of Burley and Matthew because they are innocent.
Federal Courts have the power to grant a writ of error coram nobis to vacate a conviction after a sentence has already been served to achieve justice.
On June 10, 2011, Umar Burley and Brent Matthews entered pleas of guilty in United States District Court to charges of possession with intent to distribute heroin despite the fact they knew they were innocent. Both men concluded that in a trial involving a Baltimore Police Department Sergeant’s word against theirs, they would lose.
On August 18, 2011, Burley was sentenced to 15 years in prison on the federal drug charge to run concurrent to his state sentence (10 years) in the vehicular manslaughter case. On September 19, 2011, Matthews was sentenced to 46 months in prison on the federal drug charges with credit for time served since March 4, 2011.
On September 19, 2013, Matthews was placed on supervised release after serving more than two-and-a-half years in federal custody.
During the course of the ongoing investigation of corruption at the Baltimore Police Department, the United States learned that the heroin Jenkins planted was the heroin in Burley’s vehicle. Jenkins did not disclose that the heroin was planted to the prosecutor who was assigned to prosecute Burley and Matthews. On August 23, 2017, the Government moved to reduce Burley’s sentence to time served. After a hearing on August 31, 2017, the Court granted the Government’s motion and Burley was released from prison that day.
Acting United States Attorney Stephen M. Schenning commended the FBI for its work in the investigation. Mr. Schenning thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Leo J. Wise and Derek E. Hines, who moved to vacate the convictions of Burley and Matthews and are prosecuting the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force cases against Jenkins and other former officers of the Baltimore City Police Department and Philadelphia Police Department.