Drug Bust with Child in Vehicle
OCEAN CITY - Two Frankford, Del. residents were arrested on drug distribution charges last week after Ocean City police narcotics detectives purchased crack cocaine from them out of a vehicle, which also included a 2-year-old child.
Around 8 p.m. last Thursday, Ocean City Police Department's Narcotics Unit officers, with the assistance of patrol personnel, made a traffic stop on a vehicle containing suspected drug dealers. Earlier in the day, the driver of the vehicle, identified as Shanice Eriz Chandler, 24, of Frankford, sold suspected crack cocaine to an undercover OCPD detective.
Another suspect, identified as Sheronda Renee Jennings, 38, also of Frankford, was riding in the passenger seat. Also discovered in the suspect vehicle was the young toddler. Chandler and Jennings were taken into custody without incident and each was charged with possession and distribution of crack cocaine and marijuana.
A family member of Jennings responded to the scene to take custody of Jennings' 2-year-old child. OCPD detectives plan to follow up with Social Services regarding the welfare of the child. Both Chandler and Jennings were taken before a District Court Commissioner. Chandler was ordered held on a $10,000 bond, while Jennings was ordered held on a $30,000 bond.
More Crack Dealer Round-Ups
OCEAN CITY - Ocean City police narcotics officers last week concluded a two-month drug distribution investigation with the arrests of two suspects from Selbyville.
Last Thursday, narcotics agents secured a search and seizure warrant for Deshawn Cornelius Handy, 26, of Selbyville, after an undercover OCPD detective was able to purchase crack cocaine from the suspect on two separate occasions during a two-month investigation. OCPD detectives served the warrant on Handy and the vehicle he was occupying, and he was taken into custody without incident. The vehicle was seized during the investigation and is pending forfeiture.
Also in the vehicle was another suspect, identified as Benny Marion Mullins, Jr., 31, also of Selbyville, who was also arrested. Handy was charged with two counts each of felony crack cocaine distribution and crack cocaine possession, along with one count of distribution of a controlled dangerous substance. Mullins was charged with felony conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine.
Handy was held on a $10,000 bond and transferred to the Worcester County Jail, while Mullins was released after posting a $5,000 bond.
Assaulting An Officer
OCEAN CITY - An Ocean City man was arrested on assault charges last week after allegedly attacking an Ocean City police officer who responded to his residence for a domestic dispute in progress.
Around 10:40 p.m. last Thursday, Ocean City police officers were dispatched to a residence on Lighthouse Ave. in Ocean City for a reported domestic dispute in progress. Upon arrival, the officers reported they could hear shouting and screaming coming from inside the residence. The officers also reported hearing several loud bangs and crashes coming from inside. They also reported hearing a female voice yelling, 'stop it, the police are coming,' and a male voice shout back, 'I don't care, I'll kick their [expletive deleted].'
A short time later, the door opened and a female told the officers to come in. The officers observed an individual, later identified as Christopher L. Stant, 18, of Ocean City, standing beside the woman screaming unintelligible words. Stant was identified as the woman's son. The officers noticed Stant's pants were covered with several red, rusty splatter stains, which turned out to be blood, according to police reports. The officers also noticed blood dripping down from a deep laceration on Stant's elbow and another bleeding laceration on his right forearm that appeared to be inflicted by a cutting type of instrument, according to police reports.
OCPD officers also observed what appeared to be a fresh, moderate-sized bloodstain dripping down the wall behind Stant. Scattered around the furniture and floor directly behind Stant were several razor box cutters, folding knives and sharp drill bits. Because of the amount of blood on Stant and his close proximity to several possible weapons, the officers asked Stant to step out on the porch area so they could talk to him.
As the officer started to walk toward Stant, the suspect started to walk backward before reversing his direction and walking directly at the officer. The officer put his hands up in a defensive posture, but Stant grabbed the officer by the forearms. The officer told Stant to let go of his arms, but he refused, attempting to hold one of the officer's arms with one hand while pushing him back with the other.
The officer then pushed Stant away before putting his arms around the suspect's upper body and tackling him to the ground. Stant was then placed under arrest for second-degree assault on an officer.
Indecent Exposure To Juvenile
OCEAN CITY - An Ocean City man was arrested on indecent exposure charges last week after allegedly exposing himself to a juvenile girl on the Boardwalk.
Around 7:30 p.m. last Thursday, Ocean City police officers responded to the area of 4th Street and the Boardwalk in reference to a report of an indecent exposure that had already occurred. The officers met with a complainant who told police a white male had exposed himself to his juvenile daughter earlier that morning.
The 14-year-old juvenile victim provided police with information regarding the incident and was able to provide a description of the male suspect. Based on proactive police initiatives and the description provided by the victim, the officers were able to develop a suspect, later identified as William Glenn Stauffer, 44, of Ocean City. Stauffer has an extensive record of run-ins with local law enforcement officers over the years.
On Friday, Ocean City police located and arrested Stauffer and charged him with indecent exposure. He was taken before a District Court Commissioner and was held on a $5,000 bond. He was then transferred to the Worcester County Jail.
Stolen Jewels Recovered
From Local Pawn Shop
OCEAN PINES - An Ocean Pines man with an already extensive record for various other encounters with local law enforcement was arrested on felony theft charges last week after Ocean Pines police were able to connect him to a burglary from a residence in the community.
Brandon Krieger, 19, of Ocean Pines, was arrested last week on felony theft charges of at least $1,000 and a maximum of $10,000 after Pines police were able to connect him to the theft of jewelry from a residence in the community. The stolen jewelry, valued at approximately $2,500, was later recovered from a pawnshop in Salisbury. Krieger was charged with felony theft and is currently being held in the Worcester County Detention Center.
Stiff Sentence For Dealer
SNOW HILL - A local man arrested during a drug raid at a West Ocean City motel in July 2008 was found guilty last week in Circuit Court on distribution of marijuana charges and was sentenced to five years in jail, all of which was suspended by two years.
On July 31, 2008, a warrant search was conducted at the Rambler Motel in West Ocean City after a two-month long joint drug distribution investigation carried out by the Worcester County Sheriff's Office and the Ocean City Police Department. Law enforcement officials armed and in full SWAT-style regalia descended on the motel where the suspect, later identified as Shakiem Williams, 32, of West Ocean City, was located.
Williams was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine and marijuana and distribution of cocaine and marijuana. Last week in Circuit Court, Williams was found guilty of distribution of marijuana and was sentenced to five years in jail, three of which were then suspended. He was also placed on probation for two years and fined $500.
Boardwalk Pot Dealer Sentenced
SNOW HILL - An Arnold, Md. man, one of several arrested this summer during an Ocean City police undercover reverse drug 'buy-bust' campaign, pleaded guilty last week in Circuit Court to distribution of marijuana and was placed on probation for 18 months and fined $500.
Throughout the summer, the OCPD targeted sales of illegal narcotics in the resort, particularly in the Boardwalk area, with an aggressive operation during which officers made contact with suspected dealers and arranged to buy, or even sell in some cases, illegal drugs. In some instances, arrests were made in similar operations when undercover narcotics detectives employed a reverse 'buy-bust' tactic during which OCPD officers offer to sell narcotics instead of attempting to buy them.
One such operation was carried out on June 12 during which four busts were made. One of those arrested that night, David Crosby, 18, of Arnold, Md., appeared in Circuit Court last week and pleaded guilty to distribution of marijuana. Crosby was placed on probation for 18 months and fined $500.
WOC Burglar Sentenced
SNOW HILL - An Ocean City man, convicted already on several break-ins and burglaries throughout the resort area over several months back in 2008, appeared in Circuit Court last week to face charges related to the break-in of a West Ocean City restaurant in June 2008 and had additional fines and restitution amounts tacked on to his growing list of punishments.
In September 2008, Denny Patrick Owens, 42, of Ocean City, was arrested on 36 charges ranging from burglary and felony theft to malicious destruction of property for a wide range of reported crimes in the area dating back to June 2008. The case against Owens began to come together in last September when Ocean City police responded to the Flamingo Motel on 30th Street in reference to a suspicious person who had just attempted to break into one of the motel's vending machines. A witness told police the suspicious person, later identified as Owens, had just left the area carrying a box. Other witnesses told police Owens had been seen walking through nearby parking lots. The officers were not able to locate Owens at the time but did find several items of evidence including a large bucket full of change.
Owens was later arrested for the vending machine break-in at the motel, but police were only starting to connect the dots between the suspect and rash of similar break-ins and thefts around the resort area dating back to early June. In another case, Owens was connected to a similar break-in at the Shoreham Hotel and Shenanigans on 4th Street back on June 6.
Owens was staying at the Shoreham at the time and when police went to his room, they recovered evidence from other break-ins reported in the area including golf clubs and golf bags stolen from vehicles at the Holiday Inn on 17th Street. In addition, video machines had been pried open and broken into at that hotel as well.
In yet another case, Owens was ultimately connected to a break-in at the Marlin Moon Grille in the Francis Scott Key Resort in June 2008 during which the restaurant was broken into in the late night or early morning hours and an office safe was dismantled. Owens appeared in Circuit Court last week to face charges related to the Marlin Moon Grille break-in and entered an Alford Plea to malicious destruction of property.
In an Alford plea, a suspect does not admit guilt, but acknowledges the state has sufficient evidence to prosecute. Owen was sentenced to 60 days in jail, all of which was suspended, and he was fined $500, about $400 of which was suspended. He was also ordered to pay over $4,000 in restitution to the restaurant. Last week's case was just the latest in a long line of court appearances for Owens related to his burglary spree. He is already serving five years for a conviction related to an Ocean City break-in during the same time period.
Probation For Tough Times Dealer
SNOW HILL - One of two Snow Hill men arrested in May on drug charges after an Ocean City police officer pulled them over for playing their car stereo too loud pleaded guilty this week to distribution of marijuana and was granted probation before judgment.
Around 9:45 p.m. on May 15, an OCPD officer on bicycle patrol in the area of 15th Street and Baltimore Ave. observed a gold SUV with its stereo blaring so loud it could be heard from the officer's position at least 60 feet away. The officer also observed several individuals on foot in the area stop and turn their heads as the vehicle passed by.
The officer stopped the vehicle in the area of 16th Street and Baltimore Ave. and made contact with the driver, identified as Darian La mar Waters, 21, of Snow Hill. According to police reports, the officer asked Waters if there was any good reason why he was playing the stereo so loud and he responded there was not. The officer completed a citation for the loud stereo and conducted a routine traffic check on Waters' license status before returning to the vehicle.
When the officer returned, he saw the vehicle's passenger, later identified as Marcus Allen Feddiman, 22, of Frankford, Del., reach between his legs suspiciously. The officer asked both Waters and Feddiman to exit the vehicle and they complied. The officer issued the citation to Waters and told him he was free to go, but the officer then returned to his bicycle and approached the driver's side again. The officer asked Waters if there were any illegal drugs, guns or knives in the SUV, to which he responded yes.
The officer then asked Waters to step out of the vehicle, to which he replied, 'Man, this ain't even my ride,' and 'Man, this is my girlfriend's.' The officer then asked for permission to search the vehicle and Waters complied. During the subsequent search, the officer discovered loose particles on marijuana on the driver's side floor of the vehicle. He also found a Baggie of suspected marijuana in the center console as well as a glass jar of pot.
The officer also discovered a bag containing two pills, one with the shape of a firearm inset on it and another with the shape of cartoon character Homer Simpson on it. The officer knew from his training the pills were illicit street drugs containing MDMA, commonly known as Ecstasy. At that point, the officer placed Waters and Feddiman under arrest, but the search of the vehicle continued.
The officer also located in the SUV roughly 300 plastic Baggies, a maroon draw string bag with more suspected marijuana in it, a metal marijuana grinder and a scale in the maroon bag. The officer also located a blue backpack with the name Darian W. on it. Inside the backpack, the officer found 20 yellow, oblong pills believed to be the prescription drug Alprazolam. A further search of the vehicle turned up cigars with marijuana in them. Because of the volume of the drugs found in the vehicle, along with the Baggies, scale and other paraphernalia, the officer suspected Waters and Feddiman were dealing in narcotics.
After the officer read Waters his rights, the suspect agreed to speak with him without a lawyer present. Waters told the officer the drugs found in the car were his and that he was just trying to make some money because he had a baby on the way and didn't have a job. Waters also told police he was only coming into to Ocean City to pick up his girlfriend and get rid of the illegal drugs. He told police he was sorry and should not have brought the weed into Ocean City.
Both Waters and Feddiman were charged with possession of marijuana, possession of other CDS, possession of paraphernalia and other charges. In Circuit Court on Tuesday, Waters pleaded guilty to a distribution charge and was granted probation before judgment. Feddiman appeared in court in July and came away with the same outcome.
30 Days For Dirt Bike Theft
SNOW HILL - A Snow Hill man arrested in September after swiping a dirt bike before attempting to elude police and finally crashing the stolen vehicle into a ditch pleaded guilty this week in District Court to driving without a required license or authorization and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.
Around 10:15 on Sept. 17, a Berlin police officer on routine patrol observed a small dirt bike on Seahawk Rd. with no front or rear lights illuminated. The officer attempted to stop the dirt bike, but the rider, later identified as Richard Lee Huffman, 20, of Berlin, continued to drive down Seahawk Rd. and away from the officer, who continued the pursuit.
When Huffman reached the intersection at Sinepuxent Rd., he lost control of the dirt bike and crashed in a ditch. The investigation revealed the motorcycle was reported stolen in Pennsylvania. Huffman was arrested and charged with theft, fleeing and eluding and driving without a license. The motorcycle was not street legal and could only go 40 mph.
This week in District Court, Huffman pleaded guilty to driving without a required license or authorization and was sentenced to 30 days in jail, which he began serving immediately. He was also fined $200. Because of the plea arrangement, the other charges against Huffman were not prosecuted.
Dogs Rescued From Fire
SNOW HILL - Potential tragedy was averted this week when a family of seven including five children safely got out of a house on fire in Snow Hill and two family dogs had to be rescued by firefighters.
Around 11 a.m. last Saturday, a residential fire was reported for a house on East Market Street in Snow Hill. First arriving firefighting units reported heavy smoke extending from the rear of the three-story residential dwelling. Firefighters from the Snow Hill, Girdletree, Stockton and Newark volunteer fire companies responded and quickly contained the fire.
Seven residents of the home, including two parents and five children ages 6-14 were in the residence at the time of the fire, but all escaped without injury. However, two family pets, both dogs, had to be rescued by firefighters.
The investigation revealed the fire originated in the wall below the main electrical breaker box located on the first floor of the dwelling. The cause of the fire has been listed as accidental.
Sprague OCPD Officer of Month
OCEAN CITY - The Ocean City Police Department recently announced Officer Andrew Sprague was Officer of the Month for October 2009.
Sprague was nominated by several supervisors for his continuous hard work and dedication to patrolling the streets of Ocean City. An example of Sprague's accomplishments include a traffic stop he initiated on Oct. 2, 2009 when he pulled over a suspicious vehicle which resulted in the recovery of numerous items of stolen property as well as drugs. Several burglary cases were solved due to Sprague's traffic stop.
Sprague was born in Illinois but spent most of his childhood in Des Moines, Iowa. After completing high school, he joined the United States Marine Corps where he was active for four years. He joined the OCPD in 2007 as a seasonal officer and has been a full-time Ocean City police officer since January 2008.