Five-Month Investigation Nets Three Drug Arrests

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Five-Month Investigation Nets Three Drug Arrests

OCEAN CITY – The Ocean City Police Department’s narcotics unit this week concluded a five-month CDS distribution investigation in the resort with the arrests of three suspects from Delaware after finding them in a car in the north end of town.

This week, OCPD officers served a search and seizure warrant on one suspect, Christopher Lee Sturgis, 23, of Selbyville, after finding him in a vehicle on 143rd Street. Officers searched the vehicle and discovered 41 grams of crack cocaine along with $367 in currency. Two other suspects were located in the vehicle with Sturgis and were also arrested on various charges.

Darnell Lamar Morris, 25, of Selbyville, was wanted on a warrant from Wicomico County for possession with intent to distribute controlled dangerous substances. The third suspect in the vehicle was identified as Deon Evans Bailey, 19, of Seaford, Del. In addition, the tags on the vehicle were reported stolen from Delaware.

Each of the suspects was charged with possession and possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine. Morris was also charged with the outstanding warrant from Wicomico County, while Bailey was also charged with theft. Each of the suspects is being held in the Worcester County Jail on $100,000 bonds.

Shooting In Snow Hill

SNOW HILL – Worcester County law enforcement officials this week are looking for the suspect or suspects in a shooting in Snow Hill last Saturday.

Around 10:15 last Saturday, Snow Hill Police responded to the Train Station for a reported shooting incident. Upon arrival, officers located two victims, one of which had a gun shot wound to his right calf and another who had a laceration above his right eye. Both victims were transported to PRMC in Salisbury where they were treated for life-threatening injuries.

The Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) took over the investigation, which revealed the two victims were at a party at the Train Station attended by numerous people. According to police reports, a large fight broke out at the party during which an unknown suspect discharged a firearm, striking one of the victims in the calf. WCBI detectives are asking anyone with information about the incident or a possible suspect to call 410-352-3476, or the Snow Hill Police Department at 410-632-2447.

Charges After Bar Fight

OCEAN CITY – A Harwood, Md. man was arrested on assault and drunk-driving charges last weekend after throwing a man off a bar stool in a mid-town establishment before leaving the scene in a vehicle and getting caught a short time later.

Around 11:30 p.m. last Saturday, Ocean City police responded to Mother’s Cantina for a reported assault. The officers met with the victim who told police an unidentified male had grabbed him by his shoulders and threw him off his bar stool. The victim said the suspect attempted to throw a bar stool on him while he was on the ground before the victim’s friend stopped the suspect.

An employee interceded and threw the suspect out of the bar, then watched as he drove away in a silver Pontiac Firebird with Maryland tags. The employee was able to get a tag number for the vehicle and told police the suspect was visibly intoxicated. Both the victim and the employee provided police with a description of the suspect including a British accent.

The responding officer was then informed by another officer he had located the suspect’s car in front of a residence on Plover Driver nearby. The original officer responded to the scene and met with the suspect, later identified as Geoffrey Charles Lovell, 44, of Harwood, Md. who matched the description provided by the victim and the bar employee.

When asked about the incident at the bar, Lovell admitted he had thrown the victim off his bar stool and that he was thrown out and drove away. After the officer detected the strong odor of alcohol emanating from Lovell, he asked the suspect if had anything to drink after he left the bar and Lovell told the officer he had not.

After Lovell failed a series of field sobriety tests, he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. He was also charged with assault for the incident at the bar. When processed at the Public Safety Building, Lovell refused to submit to a breath test.

Two Arrested In Resort Drug Raids

OCEAN CITY – Two Ocean City men were arrested on drug charges last week after the OCPD’s Quick Response Team raided two uptown condominium units.

Around 3:45 p.m. last Thursday, the QRT and members of the OCPD’s narcotics unit served search warrants simultaneously on two condo units on Newport Bay Drive. At the first location, resort police found a silver, foil smoking device containing marijuana residue in one of the bedrooms. They detained one resident of the unit, and when they questioned him about the paraphernalia, the suspect told police it was found in Timmy’s room.

The officers determined the alleged owner of the marijuana was Timmy Alexander Wilson, 19, of Ocean City. Police used the other suspect’s cell phone to call Wilson at work and informed him he needed to come home to talk to police. Wilson did return home, and when he pointed out which bedroom was his, he was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.

Meanwhile, other officers were searching a different unit on Newport Bay Drive and found another suspect, later identified as Leon Harvey, 22, of Ocean City sitting on his bed. Harvey agreed to allow police to search his room and a small amount of marijuana was found in a trashcan. A search of Harvey’s person revealed an electronic scale with marijuana residue on it in his pocket. Harvey was also charged with possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.

Felony Theft Suspect Returns

BERLIN – A Pasadena man tracked to a theft from a Berlin pharmacy last Saturday returned a day later to face the charges.

Around 2 p.m. last Saturday, Berlin Police were dispatched to the Rite Aid on Old Ocean City Blvd. for a reported theft that had just occurred. The investigation revealed a male suspect entered the store and concealed a large number of high value items on his person. He then fled the store in a blue Mitsubishi SUV. At the time, store employees estimated the value of the stolen goods at around $600.

Employees were also able to provide police with a vehicle tag number for the getaway car and police were able to contact the owner of the vehicle, who said a family member was using it. Police were then able to contact the family member, later identified as Michael Paul Beverly, 24, of Pasadena, who admitted stealing the goods from Rite Aid in Berlin.

Beverly told police he had returned to his home in Pasadena, but agreed to return to Berlin the next day, Dec. 14, to return the stolen goods. An application for charges and an arrest warrant were prepared and Beverly returned to the Berlin police station the next day as planned.

He was placed under arrest and charged with theft over $500. He was taken before a District Court Commissioner, who ordered him held on a $5,000 bond. When the value of the stolen goods Beverly returned was tallied up, it came to over $1,000.

Suspended Sentence For Pot Dealer

SNOW HILL – One of two men arrested in July after Ocean City police observed them involved in a drug deal that began on the Boardwalk and was consummated in a downtown parking garage pleaded guilty last week in Circuit Court to possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and was sentenced to a year in jail, all of which was suspended but the 140 days he spent awaiting trial.

Ironically around 4:20 p.m. on July 22, an OCPD officer on foot patrol in the downtown area observed two men, later identified as Jason Paul Mallory, 22, of Odenton, Md., and Caleb R. Dixon, 22, of Crownsville, Md., and approach two men sitting on a bench near Surf Ave. After a brief conversation, one of the men on the bench followed Mallory to the center of the Boardwalk where Mallory displayed something in his hand and quickly put it back in his pocket.

The group then left the Boardwalk and went under a parking garage in the area of Surf Ave. When they emerged, one of the men was observed counting money. OCPD officers responded to the scene of the apparent drug deal and Mallory and Dixon began to walk away quickly.

Dixon was detained and a search of his person revealed a small Baggie of marijuana. Mallory, meanwhile, was sitting on the curb while police talked to Dixon and he suddenly stood up and made a dash for it. The officers chased Mallory and eventually caught him, tackling him to the ground, but Mallory refused to go quietly and fought with the officers. At one point, he made a motion to grab for one of the officers’ belt in the area of his weapon.

Fearing Mallory may be armed, or was attempting to grab a weapon from the officer, officers physically wrestled him to the ground and were eventually able to subdue him after a violent struggle. Mallory at one point reached inside his shorts and a large Baggie with 23 individually wrapped Baggies of marijuana fell out.

Mallory was charged with possession and possession with intent to distribute marijuana, resisting arrest, second-degree assault on an officer and making a false statement to an officer. Dixon was charged with possession of marijuana, paraphernalia and possession with intent to distribute. 

Last week, Mallory pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute marijuana and was sentenced to a year in jail with all but the 140 days he already served suspended. He was placed on probation for two years and fined $500. Dixon was also scheduled to appear for trial last week but his case was suspended.

Burglary Suspect Cops Plea

SNOW HILL – A Berlin man arrested along with another man in July for breaking into and robbing a downtown Ocean City market pleaded guilty last week to theft under $500 and was sentenced to 18 months in jail, all of which was suspended in favor of a fine and probation.

Around 4:30 a.m. on July 9, OCPD officers responded to the 9th Street Market for a reported burglary. Upon arrival, the officers found the front door ajar with noticeable scratches on the doorframe, indicating it had been pried open with a crow bar. The owner arrived on the scene and reported that $400 in cash and change was missing from the register, as well as several cartons of Newport brand cigarettes and a few lighters.

Meanwhile, OCPD detectives were already investigating a string of burglaries with two individuals, Jermaine Hill, 23, and Richard L. Huffman, 19, identified as suspects. Hill was apprehended for questioning on Wicomico Street, where he denied any connection with the burglaries or the 9th Street burglary, but admitted to being in the area of 9th Street earlier that morning. Around $112 and a pack of Newport brand cigarettes were retrieved from Hill. The carton of cigarettes was traced to the store, at which point Hill changed his story, claiming Huffman had given him both the money and the cigarettes. Huffman was located as well, and was also found with a carton of Newport brand cigarettes traced back to the market as well as lighters identified as those stolen.

In a later interview Hill admitted to stealing, with the help of Huffman, a crowbar and taking it to the 9th Street Market to break in. He also informed detectives that they then took the stolen change to the CoinStar at the West Ocean City Superfresh. Surveillance video showed the pair at the CoinStar in the early morning hours of July 9.

Both Huffman and Hill were later charged with second-degree burglary, malicious destruction of property and theft less than $500. Last week, Hill pleaded guilty to theft and was sentenced to 18 months in jail, all of which was suspended. He was also placed on probation for two-and-a-half years and fined $500. Huffman has not yet gone to court for his role in the July 9th burglary. He also faces theft charges for his alleged role in the burglary of a 4th Street boardwalk business, which occurred on July 7.

DUI Checkpoint Results Released

BERLIN – Last Friday, Dec. 12, a cooperative effort Driving Under the Influence (DUI) checkpoint involving several local enforcement agencies was conducted in the northern Worcester County area with mixed results.

Operation Checkpoint Strike Force, a collaborative effort between the Maryland State Police, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office and the Berlin, Ocean City and Ocean Pines Police Departments, was conducted last Friday and early Saturday morning in the area of westbound Route 50 just west of Hall Rd. The operation was conducted from 11 p.m. on Friday to 2 a.m. on Saturday and included 12 MSP troopers, four sheriff’s deputies and one officer each from the Berlin, Ocean Pines and Ocean City police departments.

A total of 140 vehicles were stopped during the checkpoint, of which two were pulled to the side for further field sobriety tests. In addition, two other vehicles were stopped for suspected possession of controlled dangerous substances, leading to one misdemeanor arrest for marijuana possession.

After the termination of the checkpoint, troopers and deputies conducted a saturation patrol in the area with a significant increase in police presence in Worcester County. During the saturation patrol, one Worcester County resident was arrested for driving under the influence. The goal of the checkpoint was to reduce the number of drunk and drugged drivers on Worcester County’s roadways.

Community Rallies

For Toy, Food Drive

OCEAN CITY – The Ocean City Police Department’s 2008 Christmas Food and Toy Drive distribution is right around the corner and the resort community has once again come together to lend their support to families in need.

With an overwhelming amount of donations from employees, local businesses and Ocean City residents, the OCPD is predicting this year will be bigger than ever before. Last Thursday, Dec. 11, the Delmarva Condominium Managers Association (DCMA) stopped by the Public Safety Building with several bags of toys and a donation of over $3,000.

“The DCMA supports many charities in its ongoing mission to improve the community,” association president Bob Paroda said. “Not only do we have an outpouring of donations from DCMA members, but it would not be possible for us to make this donation without the help of our vendors.”

Another generous donation came from Fager’s Island, who held their annual Christmas Toy Drive on Friday, Dec. 12 with the proceeds benefiting the OCPD Christmas needy drive. Along with around $800, Fager’s Island employees and guests contributed a large amount of toys.

Additional community donations came from the Greene Turtle, the Ocean City Hibernians and several independent community members. Atlantic Physical Therapy lent its support by donating over 10 bicycles.

“Every year, I am amazed by the generosity of our community,” said OCPD Chief Bernadette DiPino. “Even during one of the most difficult economic times our country has seen, Ocean City community members still pull together to provide for those individuals who are less fortunate then themselves. It truly is what Christmas is all about.”

The 2008 OCPD Christmas Needy Drive distribution will be held tomorrow, Saturday, December 20, at the Public Safety Building. Anyone wishing to volunteer to help during the distribution should contact Jessica King at 410-520-5395.

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