Report: No Favoritism In Stop Of Mayor’s Daughter

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OCEAN CITY – An
internal investigation into the alleged mishandling of a traffic stop of
then-Ocean City Council President and now Mayor Rick Meehan’s daughter back in
2005 revealed the officers involved followed department policy and acted
appropriately, although some issues with the chain of communication were called
into question.

Several weeks ago,
OCPD Chief Bernadette DiPino was contacted by a local reporter who received an
anonymous letter alleging OCPD officers mishandled a traffic stop involving
Meehan’s daughter Kellie back on Aug. 2, 2005. DiPino initiated an Internal
Affairs investigation into the incident and the results of that investigation
were released this week.

The findings
concluded on Aug. 2, 2005, around 2 a.m., Kellie Meehan was clocked going 52
mph in a 35 mph zone on Coastal Highway near 32nd Street and a
traffic stop was initiated. She was issued a traffic citation and later paid
the $75 fine through District Court.

The report released
this week revealed the officer did detect a slight odor of alcohol on Ms.
Meehan, but observed no signs of any impairment. Her speech, behavior and
overall coherence were found to be normal and the officer did not feel it
necessary to ask her to perform any field sobriety tests, according to the
official findings released this week.

The officer
handling the stop felt then-Council President Rich Meehan should be made aware
of the incident. Meehan drove to the location of the stop and picked up his
daughter. The report makes it clear in no uncertain terms that Ms. Meehan did
not identify herself as the council president’s daughter until asked by the
officer, nor did she or her father ever ask for or receive preferential
treatment.

According to the
report, there was a corporal on the scene and a sergeant was also called. The
duty lieutenant was also notified of the situation, but no other official
notifications were made. The report concluded the officers involved followed
procedure and acted appropriately in terms of the traffic stop, but DiPino did
express some concern regarding the notification process.

“Our general
orders are very specific,” she said. “When our officers have any official
dealing with a member of the Ocean City government, the commanding officer on
the scene must notify the Division Commander who, in turn, will notify the
Chief of Police sometime after the incident has concluded. In this case, this
procedure was not followed.”

No punishment was
issued to any officer involved, however, DiPino has counseled her staff
regarding proper notification procedures. 

CVS Shoplifter
Sought

OCEAN CITY – Last Wednesday, OCPD officers were called to
the CVS store on 120th Street in regards to a shoplifting incident that had
taken place the day before. According to police records, employees had just
discovered $1,000 worth of cosmetics had gone missing prior to Wednesday.

Management and officers immediately began looking at
surveillance tape when they came across an individual who entered the store at
one point, grab a shopping cart and head straight to the cosmetics isle. They
then observed the suspect repeatedly place items into the shopping cart and
then transfer them to a large handbag.

After about 10 minutes of doing this, the suspect then
left the cart in the store and left with the bag full of cosmetics, totaling
approximately $1,000, in hand.

The suspect in the surveillance tape is described as a
white female, around 55-60 years of age and heavy set with glasses. The woman
also had gray hair and was wearing a red horizontal striped shirt and dark
pants. According to the tape, she entered the CVS around 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday
afternoon and left around 2:40 p.m.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the OCPD.

Bank Bag Thief
Convicted

SNOW HILL – An Ocean City man convicted earlier this year
on felony theft over $500 for an incident last summer when he stole $8,000 from
a Boardwalk business where he would frequently help out was sentenced this week
to eight years in jail with all but 18 months suspended and was ordered to pay
$6,000 in restitution to the business.

In September, resort police arrested and charged Sean Patrick Hawes, 38, of Ocean City
with theft after he stole a bank bag containing $8,000 from Boardwalk Fries.
The discovery occurred on Aug. 7, when the victim called police to report the
missing property. According to court documents, the victim told police Hawes was visiting the business and had permission to be behind
the counter because he helped out occasionally.
Through the investigation, it was determined that Hawes
was in close proximity to the money bag and suspicious activity was reported in
his bank account. According to court documents, Hawes
stole the money and deposited it into two separate bank accounts on the same
day. Fourteen days after the theft, however, Hawes
allegedly emptied both accounts and each had a negative balance.
Police issued an arrest warrant for Hawes because he was
considered a flight risk. He had provided bogus addresses to the bank and
previously to police and held a Florida driver’s license. Hawes was eventually
arrested on Sept. 1.

In February, Hawes
was convicted on felony theft charges and a pre-sentence investigation was
ordered. Back in Circuit Court this week, Hawes was sentenced to eight years,
all of which but 18 months was suspended.

Body Found In Pines Yard

OCEAN PINES –
Around 11:40 a.m. on Monday, the Ocean Pines Police Department responded to a
residence on Pinehurst Rd. in the community in reference to a possible deceased
person.

Upon arrival, a
deceased female was located in the yard of the residence. The Worcester County
Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) responded and assisted with the death investigation.
The body was transported to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Baltimore
for an autopsy. The autopsy results are pending, but no foul play is suspected,
according to police reports.

Juvenile Arrested On Drug, Weapons Charges

BERLIN – A Berlin
juvenile was arrested last week and charged with possession of controlled
dangerous substance, possession with intent to distribute and carrying a
concealed deadly weapon after being stopped for questioning about trespassing
on private property.

Shortly before 8
p.m. last Friday, Berlin Police noticed two juveniles trespassing on private
property on Route 346 near Barrett Rd. in Berlin. The officer who first
contacted the juvenile detected a strong odor of marijuana. The officer
conducted a protective pat-down of one of the juveniles and discovered a
switchblade knife and the juvenile was then arrested for carrying a concealed
deadly weapon.

A search of the
juvenile suspect incident to the arrest revealed six bags of marijuana,
prescription Klonopin pills and cigarettes. Through the investigation, it was
revealed the juvenile had stolen the prescription medicine from the other
juvenile’s home and was attempting to sell the Klonopin and marijuana.

The juvenile was
arrested and charged with carrying a concealed deadly weapon, possession of
CDS, possession of CDS with intent to distribute and other drug- and
theft-related charges. A charge of a minor in possession of cigarettes was
thrown in for good measure.

The first suspect
was referred to Juvenile Services and later released to the family of the other
juvenile, who was not charged in the incident.

Local Cited For Illegal Fish

OCEAN CITY – An
Ocean City man last week was cited for possessing illegal striped bass and
other finfish after being caught trying to sell his illegal catch at a seafood
market.

On Monday, April
9, Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) charged Theron Scott Carmean,
44, of Ocean City, with fishing for, catching and possessing finfish in the
waters of the State of Maryland without a valid license; and catching and
possessing for sale striped bass in the waters of the Maryland without a valid
license.
NRP charged Carmean after checking his commercial fishing vessel, the “Belinda
Ann,” while it landed its catch at a commercial seafood market in West Ocean
City. During the inspection, NRP discovered the person to whom the Tidal
Fishing License had been transferred had not been on-board the vessel while it
was engaged in fishing activity. Therefore, the owner/captain of the vessel was
fishing without a commercial Tidal Fishing License.
NRP officers seized as evidence Carmean’s catch of a little more than 1,500
pounds of several different species of fish. 

Drug Charges Filed

OCEAN CITY – A Salisbury boy whose vehicle ran out of gas
and later drew the attention of officers while it was abandoned led to a
marijuana charge when it was found the driver’s license had been suspended.

Michael J. Schneider, 18, was driving eastbound on the
Route 90 Bridge on Feb. 10 when his vehicle ran out of gas. Schneider tried to
get the vehicle out of the way of traffic as much as possible while he went to
get gas, however since space was limited, he had no choice but to leave part of
the vehicle in the roadway, causing traffic to swerve into parts of the
westbound lane.

According to police records, OCPD Officer Patrick Flynn
was dispatched to the area regarding a vehicle that had broken down and had
become a traffic hazard. Upon arrival, Flynn noticed a green Toyota Tacoma
without a driver blocking part of the eastbound lane.

Flynn called for a tow truck and soon after Schneider
returned to his car with a can of gas. The officer then asked for Schneider’s
license, which he found to be suspended after he conducted a background check.

Following procedure, Flynn placed Schneider under arrest
for driving on a suspended license and conducted a search of the car with
incident to arrest. According to police records, Flynn found a baggie of
marijuana inside the car that Schneider admitted to as belonging to him.

At District Court Monday, Schneider plead guilty to the
drug charge and Judge Daniel R. Mumford granted him one year of unsupervised
probation and fined him $300.

Drug Case Moves To
Circuit

OCEAN CITY – Nicole Lanice Collick, a Pocomoke woman who
was arrested on Valentine’s Day along with her husband after police found
narcotics in their residence, faced Judge Daniel R. Mumford Monday at District
Court for a preliminary trial that would decide whether the case would be
forwarded to Circuit Court.

Collick, 32, said nothing during her trial as her lawyer
argued that she had no knowledge of the crack cocaine that was located within
the residence. However, Mumford thought otherwise and believed the evidence
found was enough to send the trial on to Circuit Court where her fate will be
decided.

It was almost midnight on Feb. 14 when OCPD Officer Pam
DeGiovanni responded to the Holiday Inn Express on 126 Street in regard to a
domestic dispute. Upon arrival, DeGiovanni met with the husband supposedly
involved in the dispute, identified as Laron Jeffery Collick, 26, of Stockton,
Md., in the lobby of the hotel. According to police records, Collick said he
and his wife had gotten into an argument and she was up in the room.

DeGiovanni then went to the room while other officers
remained with Collick. DeGiovanni found the room and the wife, identified as
Nicole Lanice Collick, who let the officer in.

She said the argument between her and her husband was only
verbal and that no assault had occurred when asked about the dispute. However,
according to police reports, while talking with the wife, DeGiovanni detected
the smell of burnt marijuana and asked Nicole if she could search the room.

Nicole gave her consent and DeGiovanni began her search,
later finding a clear plastic Baggie in a nightstand located in the bedroom
that contained three separate baggies with equal amounts of crack cocaine,
totaling over 10 grams. Further search led to a partially burnt cigarette in
the toilet that was believed to be marijuana.

Nicole said she wasn’t aware of the crack cocaine but was
in the room when her husband smoked the marijuana blunt earlier. DeGiovanni
then spoke with Laron who admitted to smoking the marijuana. A search of Laron
later also turned up $1,196 in cash. Both were then placed under arrest and
charged with intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance (CDS),
possession of a CDS and possession of marijuana

Alleged Peeping Tom Busted On Drugs

OCEAN CITY – An Ocean City man arrested back in December
came to District Court Monday to face two charges pending against him. The
first was a trespassing/peeping tom charge and the second was a possession of
marijuana charge that followed later when officers approached the alleged
peeping tom at his residence.

According to court records, it was on Dec. 12 at
approximately 1 a.m. when officers were called to the area of 7th Street for
reports of an individual who was going around and looking into neighbors’
windows.

Upon arrival, officers were unable to find anyone matching
the description given but soon made contact with witnesses who had seen the man
and pointed out the apartment they believed him to be staying in.

Officers attempted to make contact with the individual at
his room. Following their inquiry, a man identified as Gavin Paul Devoe, 26,
answered the door and began to answer questions posed by the officers. However,
while speaking with the police, officers noticed a Baggie on one of the tables
approximately 10 feet away from the door that looked to contain marijuana.

Officers soon asked if the substance was marijuana and
Devoe admitted it was. He was then placed under arrest. At court Monday, Devoe
plead guilty to the marijuana charge and Judge Daniel R. Mumford placed him on
one year of unsupervised probation along with a $500 fine.

Drugs Seized In
Bust

OCEAN CITY – After a lengthy drug investigation, OCPD
officers were finally able to close in last Thursday when they served a warrant
on a south-end residence of Ocean City.

According to police records, members of the OCPD’s
Narcotics Division had been conducting an ongoing investigation of a unit and
its occupants at 409 St. Louis Avenue. After obtaining a “No Knock” warrant,
the department’s Quick Response Team was at the location to execute the search.

Inside the unit, officers found quantities of crack
cocaine, marijuana and $196 in cash. The occupant of the unit, Harold Lankford,
43, was arrested as well and charged with possession of crack cocaine,
possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He is currently being held on $15,000 bond.

Surf Shop Burglary

OCEAN CITY – Officers of the OCPD are looking for any
leads or suspects in a recent burglary where a local surf shop had several
items stolen.

According to police records, it was late Saturday night or
early Sunday morning when the Cloudbreak Surf Shop on 58th Street was
burglarized. Police say the suspect or suspects threw a brick through one of
the windows in order to gain entry into the building. Once inside, they stole a
large quantity of merchandise including clothing, shoes, and skateboard
accessories.

The total value of all the items stolen is estimated to be
about $3,000. There are currently no suspects in the case at this time and
anyone with information is asked to call the OCPD.

Fired, Refused To
Leave

BERLIN – A Selbyville man faces a myriad of charges this
week including assault and obstructing and hindering a police officer after
getting fired from a Berlin business and causing a scene.

A little before 3 p.m. on April 11, the Berlin Police
Department responded to a business on Old Ocean City Blvd. in reference to a
trespassing case. Upon arrival, Berlin PD officers met with William Charles
Chamberlain, 53, of Selbyville, Del., who had been terminated from his
employment at Stephen’s Environmental Consulting and was refusing to leave or
return company equipment.

Chamberlain became violent and assaulted Berlin police
officers while destroying the company’s computer equipment. He was arrested
after a brief struggle.

Chamberlain was charged with second-degree assault,
trespassing, obstructing and hindering a police officer and malicious
destruction of property over $500. He was held at the Worcester County Jail on
a $10,000 bond

Seven Days For
Possession

OCEAN CITY – The employee of a downtown Ocean City store
arrested last August for possession of marijuana and paraphernalia during an
undercover bust of the business was found guilty of possession last week in
Worcester County Circuit Court and was sentenced to seven days in jail.

In August, the Ocean City Police Department conducted an
undercover bust at the Smoke Rings store on 2nd Street that resulted
in the seizure of illegal drug paraphernalia. Officers of the department’s
undercover unit, armed with a search and seizure warrant, entered the store and
confiscated hundreds of pieces of drug paraphernalia. Detectives were able to
obtain the warrant after an undercover officer purchased a glass marijuana pipe
the week before the raid.

The OCPD later reported the bust resulted in the seizure
of more than 400 drug paraphernalia items from the store including various
smoking devices, scales, bongs and one-hitters. An employee of the store, Janie
Cossell, 45, of Ocean City, was later arrested and charged with possession of
marijuana and possession of paraphernalia. Last week in Circuit Court, Cossell
was found guilty of possession of marijuana after agreeing with the statement
of facts in the case and was sentenced to seven days in the Worcester County
Jail.

Trespasser Nabbed
in Berlin

BERLIN – An Ocean City man was arrested last week for
trespassing at a Berlin apartment complex he had been banned from earlier.

Last
Friday, Berlin Police observed David Matthew Fowler, 43, of Ocean City, hanging
around the Bay Terrace Apartments in Berlin. Fowler had been given a no
trespassing letter from the management of the Bay Terrace Apartments because of
his suspicious activity around the complex earlier. Fowler was arrested and
charged with trespassing and later released.  

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