A former Mesa officer has been charged with two felonies and two misdemeanors in evidence tampering and possession of fentanyl.
According to police reports, the situation started as a medical emergency when Mesa police officer Christopher Jenkins was found by a bystander who called 911 to report that the officer was found passed out in his vehicle on May 18. The vehicle was locked, running, and in the middle of a street.
Arriving officers broke the window of the patrol car, dragged out their fellow officer and immediately began CPR. Officer Jenkins regained consciousness after receiving several doses of Narcan.
Mesa PD conducted an extensive internal criminal investigation on the situation. Initially, the police department worried Jenkins had been unintentionally exposed to fentanyl. However, testing done at the hospital showed that Jenkins had fentanyl, cocaine, and marijuana in his system.
The Mesa police reports detail with Jenkins’ own body camera from May 18, shows him finding a fanny pack with two baggies. One bag had blue pills. The other bag had a white substance.
Video does show Jenkins stopping at a precinct to what they believe he was going to impound the evidence. However, after an extensive investigation, the police department’s property room or Jenkins’ written list did not include a baggie with white substance. Investigators did find a quarter gallon bag between the front seats of Jenkins’ patrol vehicle. Testing showed that it did contain fentanyl. Investigators said they also discovered a glass pipe in the rear of the patrol car.
The Mesa Police Department does randomly drug tests officers. Reports show that there have been no prior reports or concerns that Jenkins was using drugs.
Jenkins made his first court appearance last week. Mesa police believe as a sworn patrol officer, he tampered with evidence and overdosed on drugs while on the job.
Jenkins was charged with two felonies for drug possession and tampering with evidence. He was also charged with two DUI misdemeanors.
Jenkins entered a not guilty plea last week and is denying the allegations and claims that it is a case of accidental ingestion.
Jenkins has since resigned from the Mesa police department before the completion of the internal investigation. He has relinquished his Arizona peace officer certification.
The former officer’s next court date is August 15.