Gun Threat In West Ocean City

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WEST OCEAN CITY – A West Ocean City man was arrested on assault charges early Wednesday morning after allegedly threatening his neighbors with a handgun.

Around 3 a.m. on Wednesday, Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to a residence on West Torquay Rd. in West Ocean City for a reported incident involving a gun. The investigation revealed the suspect, later identified as Jordan Barrett Kennell, 27, of West Ocean City, allegedly pointed a handgun at four of his neighbors and threatened them before returning to his residence.

Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the residence, but were unable to get anyone to come to the door. The Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) was contacted and obtained a search and seizure warrant for Kennell’s residence. During the search, Kennell was found inside and was arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree assault. He was taken before a District Court Commissioner on Wednesday and was ordered held in the Worcester County Detention Center on a $75,000 bond.

Sex Offense Suspect Sought

OCEAN CITY – Ocean City police this week are asking the public’s help in locating a Berlin man wanted for an alleged sexual solicitation of the minor.

On Wednesday, Ocean City Police issued a release asking for the public’s assistance in locating Leroy Poole, 44, whose most recent address is listed as Berlin. Poole is wanted by the OCPD for an alleged sexual solicitation of a minor, although the release includes no other details about the most recent incident involving Poole. He is described as an African-American male, 6’6” tall, around 240 pounds with a muscular build. Poole also has an open warrant for his arrest for failing to appear in court on an unrelated charge.

Poole has a long history of run-ins with local law enforcement officers dating back several years. In the most recent reported incident, Poole was arrested in September after allegedly assaulting the owner and an employee of a Boardwalk store during an altercation that attracted hundreds of onlookers. According to reports on that incident, Poole got into an argument with the store owner and eventually threw a Styrofoam box of food at her behind the counter. When a male employee tried to get Poole to leave, the two got into a fight inside the store.

Poole is considered dangerous based on his previous track record. Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is urged not to approach him but rather to contact the OCPD at 410-723-6600. The information can be provided anonymously.

Crash Leads To Fire

BERLIN – A Berlin man was arrested on suspicion of drinking and driving last week after his vehicle left the roadway, struck a utility pole and caught the pole on fire.

Shortly after 7 p.m. last Thursday, Berlin police responded to a single-vehicle accident at Broad and West streets. The investigation revealed the vehicle struck a utility pole, catching it on fire. The Berlin Fire Department responded to the scene and extinguished the fire.

Police made contact with the driver, identified as Christopher Steven Simms, 25, of Berlin, and detected an odor of alcohol coming from his person. Simms admitted to drinking several beers, failed field sobriety tests and was placed under arrest. He was later released after signing his citations.

Thefts From Vehicles Reported

WEST OCEAN CITY – Maryland State Police this week are looking for the suspect or suspects connected to a rash of vehicle thefts throughout the West Ocean City area over a three-day period last weekend.

Over three days from Thursday to Saturday last week, Maryland State Police troopers responded to several locations in the West Ocean City area in reference to thefts from vehicles. In all cases reported, the vehicles had been left unlocked. A wide variety of items were reported stolen ranging from change to GPS units. The thefts have been occurring during the late night or early morning hours.

The State Police are urging residents in the area to lock their vehicles so the trend does not continue. In the meantime, police are encouraging anyone with further information regarding the thefts or possible suspects to call the Berlin barrack at 410-641-3101.

Illegal Fish Seized

OCEAN CITY – Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) last weekend issued a dozen citations to anglers fishing from the Harry Kelley Memorial Bridged and seized over hundred fish that were either undersized or possessed during a closed season.

Around 3:30 p..m. last Sunday, NRP officers responded to a complaint about fishermen keeping undersized or out of season fish in the Ocean City area. The NRP officers responded to the Route 50 bridge and inspected the fishermen found in the area. As a result of the enforcement effort, 12 citations were issued and 120 fish were seized. The fish seized included 109 sea bass, four summer flounder, three grunt, one bluefish, one tautog, one croaker and one trigger fish, which were all donated to the Diakonia shelter nearby.

Among those charged included Traian Olijeanu, 50, of Dumfries, Va.; Luis Portillo, 47, of Gaithersburg; Henri Chinchilla, 30, of Manassas, Va.; Willie Mason, 62, Louisa, Va.; Thomas Robinson, 55, Capital Heights, Md.; Steven Randolph, 52, Mt. Ranier, Md.; Marvin Ramey, 33, Washington, D.C.; Keith Sherman, 73, Washington, D.C.; Edgar Henriquez, 32, Germantown, Md.; Alberto Campbell, 55, Suitland, Md.; Cristian Hudisteanu, 33, Woodbridge, Va.; and Ronald Viveros, 29, Winchester, Va. The potential fines for the offenses range from $100 to $450. A court date has been set for December 4 in District Court in Snow Hill.

Dealer Convicted

OCEAN CITY – An Ocean City man arrested in May as part of a significant drug bust in the resort after a year-long investigation into narcotics distribution by OCPD detectives pleaded guilty this week to two counts of distribution of cocaine and was sentenced to a combined one year in jail.

The primary suspect in the investigation was Claiton Pacheco, 38, of Ocean City, whom detectives had suspected of distributing narcotics for the 12 months prior to his arrest in May when OCPD detectives executed a search and seizure warrant at his residence on 43rd Street. Once inside the residence, police recovered crack cocaine and numerous items of drug paraphernalia.

Pacheco was arrested and charged with seven counts of distribution of cocaine, eight counts of possession of cocaine and one count of possession of crack cocaine. On Wednesday, he pleaded guilty to two counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and was sentenced to year for each count, which will be served concurrently. He was given credit for 153 days spent in jail awaiting trial.

Fatal Accident Case

Headed to Circuit

SNOW HILL – A New York man arrested in May on suspicion of drinking and driving after striking and killing a Stephen Decatur High School sophomore on Route 50 near the western end of the Harry Kelley Memorial Bridge was indicted on several traffic charges last week and had his case forwarded to the Circuit Court.

Shortly before 8 p.m. on May 16, Decatur sophomore Matthew B. Barcase was struck by a 2008 Jeep Wrangler as he attempted to cross Route 50 just east of Inlet Isle Lane in West Ocean City. Barcase was transported to Atlantic General Hospital and succumbed to his injuries a short time later.

Maryland State Police troopers responded to the accident scene and made contact with the driver, later identified as Luis A. Rodriguez, 29, of Massapequa Park, N.Y. Upon making contact with Rodriguez, the first-arriving troopers detected signs indicating he may have been operating the vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Further field investigation led to Rodriguez’s arrest for driving under the influence. A breath-alcohol content was administered at the MSP Berlin barrack the results of which have been withheld at the request of the state police, suffice it to say the suspect was over the legal limit.

The MSP CRASH team responded to the scene to investigate the accident. The reconstruction team has been conducting a detailed investigation the results of which have not been made public. In the meantime, Rodriguez has been charged with driving under the influence, driving under the influence per se and driving while impaired.

He was scheduled to appear in District Court in Snow Hill this week, but instead was indicted and had his case forwarded to the Circuit Court. No dates for the Circuit Court proceedings have been filed yet.

Berlin Barn Fire Accidental

BERLIN – County Fire Marshal’s Office officials this week reported a fire at a barn at a residence on Route 113 in Berlin last Thursday was accidental and ignited when the homeowner was working on one of several vehicles stored in the structure.

Around 12:45 p.m. last Thursday, a fire was reported at a barn on Route 113 in Berlin. Firefighters from the Berlin, Newark, Showell, Powellville and Willards Volunteer Fire Companies responded and quickly extinguished the blaze. No injuries were reported. The barn contained several vehicles, farm equipment and other miscellaneous items and the fire reportedly ignited while the property owner was working on one of the vehicles located inside the structure. The cause of the fire has been listed as accidental.

Stiff Sentence For Probation Violation

SNOW HILL – It was good news, bad news last week for a Snow Hill man arrested in March for his role in an alleged armed home invasion, who had the charges against him dropped for that incident, but was sentenced to over eight years in jail for a conviction dating back to 2006 because his most recent arrest violated the terms of his probation.

Kendall Garzette Norman, Jr, 24, of Snow Hill appeared in Circuit Court last Thursday for his alleged role in an armed home invasion in Snow Hill in March. Shortly after 2 a.m. on March 31, Snow Hill Police responded to a residence on Ross Street for a reported home invasion. The investigation revealed two male suspects forcibly entered the home and attempted to rob the victim.

The victim was assaulted and later transported to PRMC with a severe laceration to the forehead. The investigation led to Norman’s arrest and he was charged with assault, burglary, reckless endangerment and armed robbery. Last week, Norman appeared in Circuit Court and had the charges against him related to the home invasion dropped.

However, his alleged involvement in the incident violated the terms of his probation for a possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine conviction in August 2006. As a result, Norman was sentenced to eight years and six months for the crack distribution charge along with another two years for a gun charge related to the same incident.

Two More Boardwalk

Sting Suspects Convicted

SNOW HILL – Two more suspected drug dealers nabbed during Ocean City Police undercover narcotics reverse “buy/bust” operations on the Boardwalk this summer had their days in court last week with each getting a jail time after pleading guilty to distributing marijuana.

Throughout the summer, the OCPD targeted the sale of illegal drugs in the resort, especially on the Boardwalk, with an aggressive undercover operation during which officers made contact with suspected dealers and arranged to buy, or sell in some cases, illegal narcotics. One such operation was carried out on June 12, during which two suspects, Michael Bernard Code, 27, of Salisbury, and Demetrick Lamont Richardson, 19, of York, Pa., were arrested for selling marijuana to undercover OCPD narcotics detectives acting as potential drug buyers.

In separate trials last week, each pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute marijuana and ended up with similar outcomes. Code pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute marijuana and was sentenced to 18 months in jail with 12 months suspended, netting him six months of jail time. Richardson also pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute and was sentenced to 12 months in jail with all but the time he served awaiting trial suspended. Each was also placed on two years probation and were fined $500.

Stet Docket For Counterfeiter

OCEAN CITY – A Crofton, Md. man arrested in June on counterfeiting charges after attempting to pass phony $100 bills at a mid-town nightclub had the charges against him placed on the stet, or inactive, docket last week.

Around 12:30 a.m. on June 29, Ocean City police responded to Seacrets on 49th Street in reference to a suspect being detained by the establishment’s security staff for attempting to pass a counterfeit $100 bill. Officers met with the suspect, later identified as Michael Levend Williams, Jr., 29, who admitted to passing the counterfeit money. During the investigation, OCPD officers later recovered roughly 22 counterfeit $100 bills from the parking lot at Seacrets. The recovered bills all had the same serial number as the currency Williams attempted to use in the establishment.

The counterfeit $100 bills had a different texture than legitimate currency. According to the OCPD release, the bills appeared to have been washed $5 bills. The phony bill Williams tried to pass had $100 printed on it, but also had an Abraham Lincoln water mark on the right side. The bill’s security stripe read “USA Five” and was also discolored.

The OCPD has contacted the U.S. Secret Service regarding the incident. William was arrested and charged with manufacturing counterfeit currency and possession of counterfeit or forged currency. Last week in District Court, he had the charges against him placed on the inactive docket.  

No Injuries In Pines House Fire

OCEAN PINES – A fire at a residence in Ocean Pines last Wednesday was quickly extinguished with the help of multiple fire companies with no injuries reported.

Around 7:55 p.m. last Wednesday, a house fire was reported at a residence on White Horse Drive in Ocean Pines. Units from the Ocean Pines, Berlin, and Showell Volunteer Fire Companies all responded and quickly extinguished the blaze, which originated in the home’s kitchen. The dwelling was occupied at the time and all of the occupants escaped without any injuries reported. The fire reportedly ignited in the kitchen where the occupants were attempting to heat grease or oil in a pot on the stove. The cause of the fire has been listed as accidental.

Ocean City Arrest Log

OCEAN CITY – Despite a considerable drop-off in the size of the weekend crowd in Ocean City last week with no significant special events going on, the OCPD was kept relatively busy with dozens of arrests for various crimes from the very serious to the less severe.

Arrests for individuals suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol came in just four during the week, but there were several other arrests during the period for which no other information was provided other than the usual brief reference in the weekly incident report. For example, there was one first-degree assault arrest, two second-degree assault arrests, three arrests for possession of a deadly weapon, two incidents of resisting arrest, two indecent exposure arrests, one disorderly conduct arrest and one malicious destruction of property arrest.

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