Mother of 3 spent 44 days in jail after sharing name with suspec - WSMV Channel 4

Mother of 3 spent 44 days in jail after sharing name with suspect

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Ke’Nieshea Adkins spent 44 days at the Tennessee Prison for Women. Ke’Nieshea Adkins spent 44 days at the Tennessee Prison for Women.
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

It was the little things that Ke’Nieshea Adkins missed the most while locked up in the Tennessee Prison for Women on a federal drug charge: her son Broderick improving his dribbling skills, the hugs of her 4-year-old Ajontrell, her daughter Ke’Montajah’s smiles.

Forty-four days after she was jailed, the prosecutor in the case realized what Adkins had been saying all along – that she wasn’t the Ke’Nieshea Adkins they were looking for.

“She shouldn't have been there (behind bars),” said special prosecutor Rachel Sobrero.

Adkins is the latest Tennessean the Channel 4 I-Team has found arrested, jailed and charged simply for sharing the same name of an identified suspect.

Click the links below to read the I-Team’s previous reports:

Sharing name with suspects leaves innocent people in handcuffs

Woman jailed for 12 days for sharing name with suspect

Adkins was arrested and charged as part of a multi-state drug investigation by the Drug Enforcement Agency, in which several people were charged for shipping drugs in the mail in plastic bags.

Click here to read the indictment.

As soon as she was brought in to be booked, she said she made it clear that she had no involvement in the shipping of drugs.

"I didn't do it. It’s not me. It’s a mistake, He (the correctional officer) said, ‘Well, we got to book you, you got to go through this process,” Adkins said.

Adkins sat in jail for week after week because her family couldn’t afford the bond.

Adkins’ family eventually got in touch with attorney Ed Gross, who asked his paralegal Mary Page to research hundreds of documents from the DEA.

In a synopsis with one of the women charged, a DEA agent wrote that she identified a co-conspirator as a Ke’Nieshea Adkins living on Lakeland Drive in Nashville.

Also included was a photograph of a woman who agents believed was Adkins as well as a license plate of her vehicle.

But Page wasn’t convinced.

"This just isn't adding up and there's got to be something more than we just don't understand,” she said.

In interviewing Adkins in prison, Page found her client never lived on Lakeland Drive, didn’t resemble the woman in the photograph, the license plate in question didn’t belong to Adkins and the woman who was charged in the crime referred to her as “Kenya,” which is a nickname Adkins never went by.

"I believe they ran that name, found a match - or what they thought was a match - and got an indictment,” Page said.

After Page sent her findings to Sobrero, she then passed the information onto a DEA investigator.

"He called me and said, ‘It's not her,’” Sobrero said.

"What's it like for you to get that phone call that the person you've been prosecuting is not the right person,” asked chief investigative reporter Jeremy Finley.

"It's awful. It's horrible to think that the person sitting there in custody for something that they did not do,” Sobrero said.

"They (Adkins’ attorneys) say she didn't live at that address, that the photo didn't look like her, that she didn't go by that nickname. So how was she chosen?" Finley asked.

"When we have a case file, we have identified suspects and how they're involved. I don't have every step of that,” Sobrero said.

"Those are questions for the DEA,” Finley asked.

"I certainly can't answer them. That would be the investigating agency,” Sobrero said.

Chuvalo Truesdell, spokesman for the DEA, would not agree to an interview but did send a statement reading:

DEA is conducting an internal review of the facts related to this case and is committed to ensuring our employees and any deputized personnel are held to the highest standards in law enforcement. Our review will be thorough and comprehensive and include whether the actions taken in this instance were within the scope of existing DEA policies, procedures and guidelines. In order to preserve the integrity of the ongoing review process, we cannot comment further.

There is plenty, though, that Adkins would like to say to them.

"I wonder how they would feel if they went to jail. Maybe they'll feel like me,” Adkins said.

When asked how long the DEA had been conducting their internal review, Truesdell responded in an email saying it was a “recent” investigation.

Truesdell also couldn’t comment on whether or not the DEA is now looking for another Ke’Nieshea Adkins, and Sobrero also couldn’t comment because some of the people charged haven’t been convicted yet.

Adkins and her lawyer are preparing to file a federal lawsuit.

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