SNOW HILL – An Ocean City man convicted on robbery charges seven years ago for a bizarre incident in Ocean City, during which he allegedly staged a theft and posed as a victim, was back in Worcester County Circuit Court last week for violating the terms of his probation and was sentenced to 12 years in jail along with another year for a drug arrest.
In September 2003, Ocean City police responded to a north-end residence for a reported armed robbery that had just occurred. The investigation revealed two victims had entered the residence to complete a drug transaction when two armed individuals suddenly entered the residence and demanded money in an armed robbery attempt.
During the robbery, several cell phones, an undetermined amount of cash and a watch were stolen from the two victims. The individual in the residence who was allegedly selling narcotics to the two victims, identified as John K. Mason, now 30, of Ocean City, was also identified at first as a victim in the armed robbery.
Ocean City police were able to later identify and apprehend the two suspects in the robbery. During the subsequent interviews with the suspects, OCPD detectives learned the whole robbery idea had been concocted by Mason with the intent to rob the unsuspecting couple. The suspects told police the plan was for Mason to lure the victims into the unit, start the drug transaction and then have his two accomplices barge in and stage the robbery.
According to the plan, Mason was supposed to look like a victim when he was really the mastermind behind the scheme. Mason was later arrested and charged with multiple counts including armed robbery, robbery, theft and assault among others. In July 2004, he was found guilty of robbery and sentenced to four years in jail, after which he was placed on probation.
However, in August 2009, Mason was arrested on marijuana possession charges that violated the terms of his probation. During the month of August last year, OCPD narcotics detectives initiated an investigation on Mason. During the investigation, the OCPD’s Quick Response Team performed a search and seizure operation on his residence and found Mason inside with two other individuals.
The search turned up marijuana, methadone, paraphernalia and cocaine. Mason was arrested on various drug charges, which violated the terms of his probation from the burglary conviction in 2004.