‘Most Wanted’ Nabbed
BERLIN -- One of Worcester County’s Top 10 Most Wanted was removed from the list last week when Maryland State Police troopers arrested a Baltimore woman in Berlin without incident.
Last Sunday, troopers responded to a residence on Upshur Street in Berlin in an attempt to locate Branden Leigh Sandifer, 31, of Baltimore, who was listed as one of Worcester County’s Top 10 Most Wanted. Once at the suspected location on Upshur Street, troopers located Sandifer and took her into custody without incident.
Sandifer was wanted on three outstanding warrants for failing to appear, including one through the Worcester County Circuit Court for distribution of narcotics. She was taken before a District Court Commissioner and was ordered held without bond.
Ocean City Burglary Arrest
OCEAN CITY -- An Ocean City man was arrested on burglary and trespassing charges this week after allegedly breaking into one residence and finding the occupant home before being caught attempting to break into a second residence.
Around 5:40 a.m. on Tuesday, an Ocean City Police officer was dispatched to a residence on Coastal Highway near 84th Street for a reported burglary that had just occurred. The officer met with a victim who said an uninvited stranger had just entered her apartment. According to police reports, the suspect saw the resident and left. The suspect was described as a white male, around 5’4” and the information was broadcast.
A short time later, another officer located a suspect matching the description on the deck of another unit on 75th Street. The suspect, later identified as Charles Arthur Oakley III, 38, of Ocean City, was attempting to enter the second residence when he was located by police. The victim in the initial break-in was brought to the scene and positively identified Oakley, who was arrested and charged with fourth-degree breaking and entering and trespassing.
Vehicle Assault Plea
SNOW HILL -- A Berlin man arrested last year after attempting to run over another man in a convenience store parking lot following a dispute pleaded guilty this week to second-degree assault and was sentenced to 90 days in jail, most of which was suspended.
Around 12:39 a.m. on Nov. 20, 2011, MSP troopers responded to the Shore Stop on Racetrack Rd. near Ocean Pines for a reported hit-and-run incident involving a pedestrian. MSP troopers met with one of the parties involved, a 20-year-old Delmar man, who told police he had been involved in a verbal dispute with another man, later identified as Gregory Alexander Glass, 19, of Berlin.
According to police reports, Glass put his vehicle in reverse and backed up before turning the vehicle toward the victim. Glass then accelerated toward the victim, striking him with the front of his pick-up truck and forcing the victim to fall backward on the pavement.
Glass was arrested and charged with first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment. This week in District Court, Glass pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and was sentenced to 90 days, 80 of which were then suspended. He was also placed on probation for three years and fined $200.
Strong-Arm Robbery Arrests
SALISBURY -- Two Seaford, Del. men were arrested on assault, robbery and other charges this week after allegedly jumping another man in a convenience store parking lot.
Shortly after 3 p.m. on Monday, Salisbury Police responded to a reported strong-arm robbery in the parking lot of the Friendly Food Store on North Salisbury Blvd. The victim told police a man he knew as Charlie Timmons struck him and knocked him to the ground in the parking lot before taking his money and fleeing the area in a vehicle.
Maryland State Police troopers located the vehicle a short time later in the North Salisbury Blvd. business district. Inside the vehicle, troopers located two suspects including Charles Robert Timmons, 20, and Andre Deshawn Ricks, 21, both of Seaford, Del. The victim was brought to the scene and positively identified Timmons and Ricks as his attackers.
Timmons was charges with robbery, theft under $1,000 and second-degree assault. Ricks was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery, conspiracy to commit theft and possession of marijuana.
Untaxed Cigarettes Seized
BERLIN -- A Philadelphia man was arrested for possessing and transporting untaxed and unstamped cigarettes through Maryland on Tuesday morning following a traffic stop in northern Worcester County.
Around 8:18 a.m. on Tuesday, a Maryland State Police trooper was patrolling in the area of Route 113 and Carey Rd. when a Chevy van bearing Pennsylvania tags was pulled over for speeding. The trooper made contact with the driver, identified as Tong Ping Lu, 44, of Philadelphia, and detected numerous indicators that led him to believe criminal activity was afoot, according to police reports.
A consent to search the van was sought and granted, resulting in the discovery of 690 cartons of unstamped and untaxed cigarettes in the vehicle’s cargo area. The retail value of the cigarettes is estimated at $41,262, while the estimated tax loss for the state of Maryland came in at $13,800.
Cigarette Smuggling Bust
SNOW HILL -- Continuing what has become a recent trend, MSP troopers last week arrested a Newport News, Va. for attempting to transport hundreds of cartons of unstamped and untaxed cigarettes through Worcester County.
Around 3:15 a.m. last Wednesday, a trooper pulled over a vehicle near the intersection of Routes 113 and 13 in the south end of the county for a speeding violation. During the traffic stop, the trooper interviewed the driver, later identified as Magheifry Ould Cheikh, 30, of Newport News, about packages observed in the vehicle.
During the interview, the driver admitted having contraband in the vehicle and ultimately admitted to transporting untaxed cigarettes. A probable cause search revealed 400 cartons of untaxed cigarettes. According to the Maryland Comptroller’s Office, the total tax loss to the state was estimated at $8,000, while the total retail sales came in at just under $24,000. Cheikh was charged with possession and transportation of untaxed cigarettes. He was released after posting a $25,000 bond.
Pallet Stealers Convicted
SNOW HILL -- Two local men arrested in July in connection with the theft of thousands of pallets from Kelly Foods in Berlin each pleaded guilty last week in District Court to conspiracy to commit theft over $1,000 and under $10,000 and were fined and placed on probation.
Back in May, Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies responded to Kelly Foods on Old Ocean City Blvd. in Berlin to investigate the theft of pallets from the company’s warehouse. The investigation revealed the company had suffered a substantial loss of the pallets during a period from July 2010 to March 2011 and that two former employees might be involved.
The Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) took over the investigation, which revealed a total of 3,060 pallets had been stolen. The company’s accounting department calculated the value of the pallets at $17,595. WCBI identified the suspects as Greg Jay Petersen, 48, of Berlin, and Chad Albert Alana, 40, of Delmar.
Last week, Petersen and Alana each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit theft and each was fined $200 and placed on probation for three years. Alana was also ordered to pay $8,534 in restitution to the victim.
Repeat Offender Faces 25 Years
SALISBURY -- A Salisbury man faces 25 years in prison after a Wicomico County jury found him guilty this week him guilty on charges of possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine, the minimum mandatory sentence for the three-time offender.
On Tuesday, Phillip Scott Bailey, 33, of Salisbury was convicted of possession with intent to distribute heroin and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. On July 17, Bailey was pulled over on the Route 13 bypass by a Wicomico County Sheriff’s Deputy, who was conducting stationary radar. The sheriff’s deputy conducted a scan of the vehicle with his K-9 partner Fiasco, who alerted on the presence of controlled dangerous substances.
A search of Bailey and the vehicle turned up several baggies of heroin and cocaine. After the jury trial on Tuesday, Wicomico County State’s Attorney Matt Maciarello presented the court with a notice of intent to seek subsequent offender penalties. The notice revealed Bailey had two prior convictions for possession with intent to distribute, and a third conviction came with a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years.