BERLIN – Making good on a promise made to residents of troubled neighborhoods on the east side of Berlin, Worcester County State’s Attorney Joel Todd said last week three arrests have been made in the first battle of a declared war on open-air drug dealing in the community.
In late May, Todd hosted a community meeting of sorts in the Multi-Purpose Building in Flower Street to announce a multi-pronged effort to rid the communities on Berlin’s east side from the rampant drug dealing that has been so prevalent for decades. At the meeting, Todd issued a stern warning for known drug dealers and a softer alternative for those maybe caught in the web for the first time.
The multi-agency initiative, named Operation Take Pride in Berlin, started in March with undercover officers from Berlin, the Maryland State Police, the Ocean City Police Department and even Somerset County all making undercover drug buys in known hot spots in Berlin including the area around Bay Street and Flower Street. The undercover officers were able to make buys from 11 individuals, nine of whom had been convicted before and two of whom were identified as dealers for the first time.
At the community meeting in late May, Todd told residents arrest warrants had been sworn on the nine identified drug dealers with prior convictions and they would be taken into custody as soon as they were located. Last week, the state’s attorney announced three of the known repeat offenders had been taken into custody. Arrested were Canitchell Mills, 48, Darryl Whaley, 50, and Dvaughn Miller, 22, all of Berlin. Each was located and served with arrest warrants in Berlin. They have each been charged with possession and distribution of cocaine.
Each of the three served with arrest warrants last week are no strangers to local law enforcement and each has a significant string of arrests and convictions for various offenses in the area over the years. Mills pleaded guilty to fourth-degree burglary last April and was sentenced to 141 days in jail with credit given for time served. Last February, Whaley was arrested on theft, resisting arrest and assault charges and was sentenced to over two years in jail.
Miller, meanwhile, was arrested last November on a variety of charges after getting pulled over for a routine traffic violation before abandoning his vehicle and fleeing police on foot. He was arrested five days later and ultimately pleaded guilty to fleeing police on foot and was sentenced to 60 days in jail with all but four suspended, fined, and placed on probation.