Times Tough For Dealers Too

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OCEAN CITY – A local couple was arrested on drug possession and distribution charges last week after getting pulled over for a seatbelt violation in Ocean City.

Around 8:15 a.m. last Tuesday, an Ocean City police officer on uniformed school bus patrol observed a green Acura with a female driver and a male passenger who was not wearing a seatbelt. The officer followed the vehicle and activated his emergency lights and siren around 77th Street. The vehicle did not stop initially, but eventually pulled over around 72nd Street after the officer activated his siren and air horn again.

The officer approached the vehicle on the passenger side and made contact with the male passenger, later identified as Charles Joseph McMillen, 26, of Ocean City, and told him why he had pulled them over. McMillen said the couple had just pulled out on the highway and he had forgotten to put his seatbelt back on. The officer collected McMillen’s identification and wrote him a citation for not wearing a seatbelt. The officer also collected identification from the driver, later identified as Sarah Elizabeth Bunyea, 25, of Selbyville.

After he had written the citation and given it to McMillen, the officer told the couple they were free to leave, but he noticed they were acting strangely as if they were hiding something. He decided to return to the vehicle and question the individuals further. The officer asked Bunyea if there were any illegal guns, knives, drugs or weapons in the vehicle to which she replied no. When he asked Bunyea if he could search the car, she consented.

McMillen was asked to stand near the back of the vehicle during the search, which turned up nothing illegal. The officer then asked Bunyea if she had any illegal weapons or drugs on her person to which she replied no. The officer asked Bunyea if a female officer could search her person and she consented while handing the officer her purse. In her purse, the officers found one labeled prescription bottle and another prescription bottle that was not labeled. In the unlabeled bottle, the officers discovered nine individually wrapped plastic baggies of suspected powder cocaine packaged in such a way as to indicate distribution.

At that point, Bunyea was taken into custody. After agreeing to speak with the officer without an attorney, Bunyea told police the drugs in her purse were cocaine. When asked if the drugs were for personal use, Bunyea said no. Finally, when asked if she was buying and/or selling cocaine, Bunyea said “No, but he is,” indicating McMillen. She also said, “The cocaine is his. He told me to put it in my purse as soon as you pulled us over. It’s not mine.”

When asked if she knew McMillen had cocaine on him, she told police “Yeah, I knew he had it and didn’t want it.” McMillen was then arrested, but was not as forthcoming with the police as Bunyea was. However, he did yell some things to her from about 30 feet away including “I’m not getting out on this one.” As the officer searched McMillen, he asked why he was being searched and he also said “I’m gone, man,” and “I’m on parole, man,” according to police reports.

McMillen then shouted more things to Bunyea including, “I gotta get paid. I only got 10 dollars to my name,” and “It’s my fault. I love you.” McMillen then told the arresting officer, “I’m just working, man,” and “I just had a little bit of [expletive deleted] and I’m trying to make some money,” according to police reports.

Bunyea and McMillen were each charged with possession of cocaine, possession of paraphernalia and possession with intent to distribute. They were both taken before a District Court Commissioner, who ordered them each held on $25,000 bonds.

Traffic Stop Yields DWI, Drugs

BERLIN – A Berlin man was arrested on drunk-driving and cocaine possession charges last week after getting pulled over for a routine equipment violation.

Shortly before midnight last Thursday, a Berlin Police officer pulled over a vehicle in the area of Bay Street and Route 113 because its passenger side headlights weren’t working. When the officer came in contact with the driver, later identified as Fred Tindley, 55, of Berlin, a strong odor of alcohol was detected on the driver’s breath and person.

Tindley was put through a series of field sobriety tests and was later arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated or impaired. During a search incident to the DUI arrest, the officer discovered a rolled-up dollar bill with cocaine residue wrapped up inside a baggie of cocaine in Tindley’s sock and possession charges were tacked on to the traffic offenses. Tindley was taken before a court commissioner who ordered him held on a $2,100 bond.

Jail Time For Dealer

SNOW HILL – A Delaware man arrested in January along with another man after the pair sold undercover OCPD narcotics officers cocaine and painkillers during a five-month investigation pleaded guilty this week in Circuit Court to distributing Oxycodone and was sentenced to five years in jail with all but one year suspended.

In January, the OCPD narcotics unit concluded a five-month investigation with the arrest of Garrison Thomas Duncan, Jr., 25, of Frankford, Del. Duncan was charged with three counts of distribution of CDS after selling powder cocaine and oxycodone pills to an undercover detective on separate occasions starting in August 2008. During the course of the investigation, OCPD detectives learned Duncan also had two outstanding warrants for his arrest through the Worcester County Sheriff’s Department for unrelated CDS charges.

As a result of the investigation, OCPD detectives seized powder cocaine, oxycodone pills, a vehicle and $579 in currency. In addition, another suspect, Kaaron Mumford, 30, of Frankford, was also arrested and charged with possession and conspiracy to distribute CDS in relation to the same investigation.

Both Mumford and Duncan were charged with possession and possession with intent to distribute cocaine and other CDS including oxycodone. This week in Circuit Court, Duncan pleaded guilty to the latter charge and was sentenced to five years in jail with all but one year suspended. He was also fined $500 and placed on probation for three years. Mumford appeared in District Court in April and had the charges against him placed on the stet, or inactive, docket.

Phony Cocaine Nets 30 Days

SNOW HILL – A Pittsville man arrested in December along with a juvenile girl for attempting to sell counterfeit painkillers pleaded guilty this week to distributing Vicodin and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

On Dec. 19, 2008, the Ocean City Police Narcotics Unit concluded a two-month investigation with the arrest of Jonathan Michael Grubbs, 20, of Pittsville. On two separate occasions, an undercover OCPD narcotics agent was able to purchase prescription pills and powder cocaine from Grubbs.

Grubbs was arrested and charged with one count of distribution of Vicoden, a schedule III narcotic analgesic containing the active drug Hydrocodone, and one count of possession of Vicoden. Through preliminary field tests, narcotics detectives determined that the cocaine was a counterfeit substance, and Grubbs was charged with additional counts of distribution of a counterfeit narcotic and possession of a counterfeit narcotic. In addition, a juvenile female was also arrested and charged with conspiracy to distribute Vicoden.

On Monday, Grubbs pleaded guilty to manufacturing/distributing CDS and was sentenced to 30 days in jail with credit given for the four days he spent in jail already. He was also fined $500.

Disorderly Conduct Conviction

OCEAN CITY – One man arrested in March for toppling over trash cans and benches on the Boardwalk and his friend who accosted the witness that pointed him out each appeared in District Court in Ocean City this week and their cases ended with the exact outcomes.

Daniel Levi Moehring, 20, of Taneytown, on Wednesday pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct for his part in the incident on March 29 and was fined $300. Gary Wayne Schisler, 19, also of Taneytown, who confronted the witness who told resort police about Moehring, also pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and was also fined $300. Charges of assault and retaliating against a witness were dropped.

Shortly before 1 a.m. on March 29, Ocean City Police officers responded to the area of 2nd Street and the Boardwalk for a reported malicious destruction of property that had already occurred. Dispatchers told the officers a white male wearing a green shirt and jeans had been knocking over Boardwalk trashcans and benches. As the officers approached 3rd Street, they observed a man fitting the description walking off the Boardwalk and detained him for questioning. The suspect, later identified as Moehring, was detained while police continued to search the area.

When an officer got on the Boardwalk, he observed every trashcan from 3rd Street to 4th Street had been knocked over. Several of the cans had garbage in them that had spilled onto the Boardwalk. The officer also observed three benches had been flipped over and two more had been moved from where they are normally positioned. The officers met with the man who filed the complaint and the man was brought over to identify Moehring as the vandal. At that point, Moehring was arrested and charged with malicious destruction of property.

Meanwhile, the man who identified the suspect began walking south on the Boardwalk when he was approached by two males, one of whom was identified as Schisler. The officers then heard someone yelling, “hey officers, we need you up here.” As the officer walked to the area, he heard Schisler tell the man who identified Moehring, “why do you have to be a snitch,” and “where I come from, we kick snitch’s [expletive deleted.” At that point, the officer observed Schisler shove the victim while the officer was no more than 30 feet away. Schisler was then arrested for second-degree assault for shoving the victim and threatening him.

Cop Fighter Guilty

OCEAN CITY – An Ocean City man arrested in early April after first fighting with cops and later flooding his holding cell at police headquarters was found guilty this week of second-degree assault and resisting arrest charges and awaits his fate pending the outcome of a pre-sentence investigation.

Around 12:30 a.m. on April 5, an OCPD bicycle officer on routine patrol in the area of a downtown underage nightclub observed a vehicle driven by a man later identified as Michael V. Rayne, 21, of Ocean City, pull into the street in front of club and stop, blocking traffic behind him. Club staffers told Rayne to move his vehicle out of the way, but he refused to comply. After watching the scene unfold, the OCPD officer also told Rayne to move the vehicle and continued to disobey the lawful order.

Finally, the officer told Rayne to pull forward so he could conduct a traffic stop and the suspect pulled into a nearby parking lot and put the vehicle in park. However, Rayne then got out of the vehicle and started to walk away. The officer commanded Rayne to get back in his vehicle while he conducted the traffic stop, but Rayne refused the command. When ordered to stop, Rayne allegedly told police “it’s not my car,” and “I wasn’t driving.”

The initial officer called for backup because he noticed Rayne taking an aggressive stance as if he wanted to fight. Meanwhile, his actions caused a crowd of 20-30 onlookers to gather around. Rayne then threw his baseball cap on the ground and tensed his upper body, forming his hands into clenched fists and taking an aggressive fighting stance toward the officer, according to police reports on the incident.

A second officer arrived along with his K-9 partner and also ordered Rayne onto the ground, but the suspect refused to comply. Finally, Rayne did comply and was handcuffed, but he did not stop his aggression toward the OCPD officers, according to police reports. Once cuffed, Rayne reported began flailing his arms and kicking with both legs. Despite orders to calm down, Rayne continued to fight with the officers and spit on one of the officer’s legs before a third officer placed a violent person restraint on him.

Rayne was ultimately transported for processing to police headquarters, where it was learned he was driving on a revoked license. While in a temporary holding area at police headquarters, Rayne reportedly continued his aggressive behavior, striking his cell door, the walls and the fixed bed. He then proceeded to overflow the toilet in his cell, causing water to overflow from the basin onto the floor of his cell and into the entire male holding facility. The damage to the cell and holding area is estimated at over $500.

Rayne was ultimately charged with three counts of second-degree assault, disorderly conduct, failure to obey a lawful order, resisting and interfering with an arrest, malicious destruction of property and driving on a revoked license. This week, Rayne was found guilty of second-degree assault and resisting arrest. His sentencing was deferred pending the outcome of a pre-sentence investigation.

First Of Two Hatchet Men Guilty

OCEAN CITY – One of two men arrested early last month on assault and deadly weapons charges after confronting another pair of men with a hatchet and a screwdriver during an altercation pleaded guilty this week to second-degree assault and was fined $300.

Shortly after 2 a.m. on April 3, an Ocean City police officer responded to the area of 34th Street for a reported assault that had just occurred. Upon arrival, the officer met with two male complainants who told police they were sitting at a red signal at 33rd Street when a late model blue truck pulled up along side of them. The occupants of the truck, later identified as Calvin G. Bratten, 21, of Salisbury, who was driving, and Michael Joseph Allison, 44, of Ocean City, who was the passenger, began yelling something at the two complainants in the vehicle along side them.

The two victims told police they weren’t certain what or why Bratten and Allison were yelling at them. The two victims continued through the light and Bratten and Allison followed in their truck. The two victims pulled over and parked in the area of 34th Street and the two suspects followed, also parked and got out.

One victim said Bratten got out of the truck with a screwdriver in his hand and began approaching him at a fast pace. The victim told police Bratten said, “get back in the car if you don’t want no problems.” Bratten allegedly continued to threaten the victim as he came toward him, but eventually threw the screwdriver down as he got closer.

Meanwhile, Allison got out of the passenger side of the truck and approached the other victim with a hatchet in his hand. According to the victim, Allison held the hatchet in his hand over his head as he approached him and said “get back in the [expletive deleted] car or I’m going to kick your {expletive deleted].” The victim said he continued to back away from Allison, who he believed was going to strike him with the hatchet.

Bratten and Allison eventually left the scene without further incident. An independent witness on the scene was interviewed and corroborated the victims’ stories. A short time later, the officer on the scene learned a different officer had pulled over a truck at 64th Street with the occupants matching the description of Bratten and Allison. The two victims along with the independent witness followed the officer to 64th Street where they identified Bratten and Allison as the suspects. Bratten confirmed the screwdriver left at the scene belonged to him, but said it must have fallen out of his truck.

Bratten was charged with carrying a deadly weapon with intent to injure and attempted second-degree assault and was initially ordered held on a $15,000 bond before being released. Allison was charged with attempted first- and second-degree assault and carrying a deadly weapon with intent to injure. This week in District Court, Bratten pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and was fined $300. Allison is scheduled for a preliminary appearance on May 18.

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