Drug Dealer Sentenced
SNOW HILL- An Ocean City man arrested last August for possession with intent to distribute cocaine was found guilty last week and sentenced to three years in jail with all but one year suspended.
Brett A. Owen, 25, of Ocean City, was arrested last August 16 at a north-end Ocean City convenience store and was charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine. Last week, Owen pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced to three years in jail with all but one year suspended. Owen was also fined $670 and forced to forfeit over $727 and his vehicle to the town of Ocean City.
On August 16, OCPD detectives were en route to execute a search and seizure warrant at Owen's north Ocean City residence when they spotted the suspect at a north-end convenience store vacuuming his car. The detectives searched Owen and his vehicle at the scene and located two baggies of suspected cocaine in his pocket.
After he was taken into custody, the officers proceeded with Owen to his residence where they found two bags of suspected cocaine in a dresser drawer along with a scale, baking soda and three more bags of cocaine totaling around 21 grams.
SNOW HILL- A Street, Md. man who last May had to be pepper-sprayed and eventually tasered to get him to leave a mid-town bar after a disturbance was found guilty last week of resisting arrest in Worcester County Circuit Court and was sentenced to 15 months in jail.
On May 20 last year, an OCPD officer responded to a mid-town bar to help employees throw out an unruly guest. The officer advised the suspect, later identified as Frederick H. Garrity, 26, of Street, Md., to leave the premises or be arrested. When Garrity refused to leave, the OCPD officer attempted to remove him from the bar, but Garrity only became more uncooperative.
The officer requested assistance as he and bar staff attempted to escort Garrity out of the bar. Garrity then pushed the doorman and turned toward the officer with his fist raised in a threatening manner. The officer advised Garrity he was under arrest and told him to get on the ground, but he refused. After warning Garrity again, the officer pepper-sprayed him but was still not able to get him to comply with his order.
Other officers arrived on the scene and were forced to try to subdue Garrity with knee strikes. Even after all that, Garrity refused to comply and a Worcester County Sheriff's Department deputy stepped in a tasered the unruly suspect. Last week, Garrity was found guilty of resisting arrest and was sentenced to 15 months in jail, which he will serve concurrent to a sentence in Harford County.
Took on Cops, Dogs
OCEAN CITY- A Berlin man was arrested in Ocean City on St. Patrick's Day after taking on resort police and K-9 dog outside an uptown bar.
Around 1:40 a.m. on St. Patrick's Day, an OCPD officer responded to the Bull on the Beach on 94th Street in response to a disorderly conduct call. After clearing the suspects in the disorderly conduct incident, the officers identified a man, later identified as Joseph R. Myers, 22, of Berlin, sitting on the sidewalk nearby. The officers knew Myers because he was identified as one of the suspects in the disorderly situation moments earlier.
Myers screamed at an OCPD K-9 officer to let his dog out and that he take the dog on. Two males then came out of the bar and told Myers to come back inside, but he continued to yell and told his friends he was going to go to jail. The officers told the other two men Myers had not been arrested yet and he was free to go, but Myers refused to go back inside and continued to yell at the officers.
The officers were prepared to let the situation go when they heard Myers yell 'these cops think they are all tough guys.' At that time, Myers was placed under arrest for violating the town's noise ordinance. While waiting for a transport vehicle to arrive, the arresting officer was getting a pair of gloves out of the trunk of his vehicle when Myers, who was sitting on the curb nearby, spit at him from seven feet away, just missing the officer.
Myers was charged with disorderly conduct, a noise violation and second-degree assault.
Stiff Sentence for School Zone Dealer
SNOW HILL- A Pocomoke man arrested in October 2006 for selling cocaine in a drug-free school zone was sentenced last week to 15 years in jail with at least 10 to be served without eligibility for parole.
William T. Marshall, 31, of Pocomoke, was in Circuit Court last week for a sentencing hearing stemming from a prior conviction on possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine on a school bus or school property and possession of crack cocaine. He was sentenced to 15 years in jail, of which he will serve at least 10 years.
On October 18, 2006, the Worcester County Narcotics Task Force along with the Sheriff's Department and the SWAT team executed a search and seizure warrant on a residence in Pocomoke. The residence was unoccupied at the time, but during the search, the officers located a safe in an upstairs bedroom with eight ounces of crack cocaine and two scales inside.
When the residents returned, the officers questioned them about the contents of the safe and who they belonged to. One of the residents identified Marshall as the owner of the safe and its contents. Marshall was later taken into custody. The residence was located within 1,000 feet of a school in an area identified as a drug-free zone. The estimated street value of the cocaine was $22,000.
Resisting Arrest Conviction
SNOW HILL- A Laurel man last week was convicted on resisting arrest charges stemming from an incident last May in Ocean City and was sentenced to one year in jail.
Last May 12, an OCPD officer responded to an assault that had already occurred. The officer was soon able to locate a suspect matching the description later identified as Jeremy Showell, 22, of Laurel, Del. The officer called out to Showell to stop, but Showell ran and the officer pursued him on foot in the area of 43rd Street. The officer then noticed Showell had reversed directions and was heading back toward her.
The officer ordered Showell to get down on the ground, and he briefly complied, but as the officer got closer, Showell got up and ran again. The officer pursued Showell again and this time he was stopped by a brick wall with a 20-foot drop. Showell was then ordered to the ground again, but refused. He was ultimately pepper-sprayed by the officer, but still got up and ran again.
Meanwhile, assisting officers arrived on the scene and were able to subdue Showell with a series of knee strikes. He was taken into custody and charged with resisting arrest. Last week in Circuit Court, Showell was sentenced to one year in jail to run concurrent with a two-year Delaware jail sentence.
OCEAN PINES- An Ocean Pines man was arrested last week after he attempted to fraudulently obtain drugs from a pharmacy in the community.
Around 3:45 p.m. last Friday, Maryland State Police troopers from the Berlin barrack responded to the Walgreens' Pharmacy on Manklin Creek Rd. in Ocean Pines for a reported prescription drug fraud. The troopers arrived on the scene and took into custody Andrew Oliver Rogers, 39, of Ocean Pines, who had allegedly altered prescriptions in order to obtain drugs illegally.
Rogers was charged with attempting to obtain controlled dangerous substance by altering prescription order and attempting to obtain CDS by fraud. He was taken before a District Court Commissioner and released on his own recognizance.
Minor Injuries in Bus Accident
BERLIN- One person received minor injuries last week in an accident involving a passenger bus and another vehicle on Route 589 at Route 90.
Around 6:30 a.m. last Thursday, Maryland State Police troopers responded to a two-vehicle accident on southbound Route 589 near Route 90. Upon arrival, the troopers discovered a 2008 Mercury Sable driven by Brenda Williamson in a ditch by the side of the road and a 1998 Holloway Transit Bus stopped in the roadway nearby.
There were no passengers on the bus, but Williamson was transported to PRMC where she was treated for minor injuries. The investigation revealed the bus was attempting to make a left turn onto northbound Route 589 and was struck by the Mercury Sable, which had run a red light. Williamson was at-fault and was charged in the accident.
Happy Ending for Stolen Pit Bull Pups
BERLIN- Three pit bull puppies stolen from a residence in Showell in late February were safely returned to their owner this week.
On Friday, February 29, Maryland State Police troopers responded to a residence in Showell for the reported theft of three pit bull puppies, which were kept outdoors in a chain-link fence enclosure. The troopers followed leads but the investigation proved fruitless until a few days later when the stolen pups were found abandoned at the VCA Animal Hospital in Berlin.
Worcester County Sheriff's Office Animal Control Officer Kristy Webb received a call about three puppies that were abandoned at the animal hospital. Aware of the earlier theft, Webb contacted the victims and had them identify the puppies that were left at the animal hospital. The victim positively identified the puppies and they were reunited with their owner.
Burglary Suspect Sought
BISHOPVILLE- State Police investigators this week are looking for the suspect or suspects who broke into a residence in Bishopville and allegedly stole prescription medicines.
Last week, MSP Troopers from the Berlin barrack responded to a residence on St. Martin's Neck Rd. for a burglary. The investigation revealed the suspect had entered the home through a rear sliding door. Troopers discovered numerous cabinets and drawers had been rifled through, but the only thing reported missing were several different types of prescription medications.
At this time, the case is still open and under investigation. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the MSP Berlin barrack at (410) 641-3101.
Vending Machine Theft
BERLIN- Maryland State Police troopers this week are investigating the break-in of a soda vending machine at a body shop in Berlin.
On March 6, MSP troopers responded to John's Auto Body in Berlin for a reported theft. The investigation revealed someone had broken into the Coca-Cola vending machine located outside the front of the building. The suspect or suspects used some type of tool to pry open the machine and gain access to the cash and coin boxes. Employees estimated there was approximately $50-$70 worth of cash and coins in the machine.
In addition, the suspects were able to gain access to unlocked vehicles parked on the premises, although no items were found missing from the vehicles. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the MSP Berlin barrack at (410) 641-3101.
Juveniles Charged In High School Fire
BERLIN- The Worcester County Fire Marshal's Office has completed its investigation into the cause of a fire which occurred on February 27 in a restroom at Stephen Decatur High School.
The Fire Marshal's Office was requested by school administration after the discovery of an extinguished fire in a boy's restroom at the school. Smoke extended from the restroom into an adjacent corridor although no fire service was requested. The Fire Marshal's Office investigation resulted in the identification of two juveniles with setting the fire. Both juveniles have been forwarded to the Department of Juvenile Justice.
Guilty Sentence for Heroin Possession
OCEAN CITY- A Greensboro, Md. man was found guilty of heroin possession and sentenced to three years of supervised probation in District Court this week after being found with the drug on New Year's Eve.
On January 1, at approximately 12:01 am, Ocean City Police Officers responded to the Princess Bayside for an EMS call. Upon arrival, officers observed Brandon Ryan Zinter, 24, slumped over in the bathroom with a belt tied around his arm. Fresh puncture marks were also found on Zinter's arms. Two capsules containing a white substance suspected to be heroin was also found. The capsules were later proven to be heroin.
'I learned a really valuable lesson, it almost cost me my life,' said Zinter in District Court this week, pleading guilty to the charges. Judge Lloyd Whitehead found Zinter guilty and sentenced him to 50 hours of community service, three years of supervised probation, and a $357.50 fine.
Theft Charges Resurface
OCEAN CITY- A Salisbury woman faced theft and violation of probation charges dating back to 2006 in District Court this week, resulting in over seven months of jail time.
Christine Marie Taylor, 37, pleaded guilty to theft less than $500 and violation of probation this week, agreeing to pay $750 in restitution.
Detective Michael Levy testified that on June 7, 2006, he was contacted by Taylor Bank after a customer reported that several checks had been stolen from his residence. An investigation revealed that Taylor stole the checks from the victim, her ex-boyfriend, wrote a check to herself, forged the signature and cashed it. Surveillance cameras showed Taylor making the transaction on March 24, 2006.
Taylor was found guilty of theft less than $500 and was also found guilty of violation of probation. Judge Lloyd Whitehead sentenced her to 230 days in jail for violation of probation and 18 months in jail with all 18 months suspended for the theft charge. Taylor was also sentenced to three years of supervised probation for the theft charge.
DUI Enforcement Stepped Up
BERLIN- To remind motorists they are serious about drunk driving enforcement and as part of an ongoing statewide campaign called 'Checkpoint Strikeforce,' police departments across Maryland including local law enforcement agencies this week announced they will begin placing 'Drunk Driving Enforcement Zone' banners on roadsides where sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols occur.
In 2006, there were 268 people killed in Maryland because of impaired drivers. As a result, the State Highway Administration's Highway Safety Office, in partnership with the Maryland State Police, local law enforcement agencies, safety partners and advocates, continues to implement educational and enforcement initiatives aimed at reducing the incidence of impaired driving crashes and their associated injuries and fatalities. The public awareness campaign announced this week is an outcropping of that ongoing effort.
Police warn when motorists see the banners, they can be sure officers are in the area looking for drunk drivers. Police officers will continue to employ various enforcement techniques with the ultimate goal of removing drunk drivers from Maryland highways before they can cause a traffic crash.
Impaired driving injuries and fatalities continue to rise in Maryland, even though police officers statewide arrest between 24,000 and 25,000 drunk drivers each year. Crashes caused by impaired drivers represent over 40 percent of all fatal motor vehicle crashes in the state.
Law enforcement does more to combat drunk driving than most realize. The issue is that most efforts are not always highly visible, like a sobriety checkpoint which cannot be missed with its large signs, multiple police cars, flashing lights and vehicles being stopped one at a time. However, many drivers never experience a sobriety checkpoint. As a result, the perception is that nothing is being done to prevent drunk driving and that the chances of being caught are slim.
The truth now is, law enforcement no longer wants to be inconspicuous. The Checkpoint Strikeforce initiative's objective is to keep innocent motorists from being hurt or even killed by someone who made an irresponsible decision to drink and drive.
For those who decide to drink and drive, law enforcement agencies warned them this week to be prepared to be arrested and urged them to choose not to drive drunk, designate a driver or take a cab.
'State, county and municipal police departments throughout Maryland are committed to reducing injuries and fatalities caused by drunk drivers,' said Maryland State Police Superintendent Col. Terrence B. Sheridan this week.