Loaded Gun Found In Vehicle

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Loaded Gun Found In Vehicle

NEWARK – A Virginia man was arrested on a weapons charge last week after a loaded handgun was found in his vehicle during a traffic stop on Route 113.

Around 11 p.m. last Wednesday, a Maryland State Police trooper on routine traffic patrol pulled over a vehicle on Route 113 near Langmaid Rd. in Newark for passing in a no passing zone. A check of the driver, identified as William Harrison Wilson, 21, of Temperanceville, Va., revealed he was wanted on an outstanding bench warrant for driving on a suspended license.

While placing Wilson under arrest, the trooper noticed the barrel of a firearm protruding from underneath the driver’s side floor mat. The trooper retrieved the weapon and found it to be a loaded .32 caliber Colt revolver. The investigation revealed Wilson did not have a handgun permit or any documentation for the firearm and he was charged additionally with carrying a handgun in a vehicle.

Joint Behind The Ear

WEST OCEAN CITY – A Pocomoke man was arrested on cocaine and marijuana possession charges last week after a Maryland State Police trooper observed him in a West Ocean City convenience store with a joint behind his ear in plain view.

Around 11:20 p.m. last Wednesday, a Maryland State Police trooper was in the Wawa convenience store on Route 50 in West Ocean City when he observed a suspect, later identified as Tyrone Scruggs, 26, of Pocomoke, with a partially burned marijuana cigarette tucked behind his ear in plain view. The trooper arrested Scruggs for possession of marijuana, and during a subsequent search found a baggie containing crack cocaine and powder cocaine on his person and additional charges were tacked on.

Speeding Leads To Pot Bust

BERLIN – Three Millsboro, Del. residents were arrested on marijuana possession charges last week after the vehicle they were traveling in was pulled over for speeding.

Around 1:25 a.m. last Thursday, a Maryland State Police trooper patrolling in the area of Routes 589 and 90 pulled over a vehicle for speeding. Upon making contact with the driver, the trooper detected a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. A probable cause search of the vehicle turned up two plastic bags of marijuana and a glass, smoking device containing burnt marijuana.

The vehicle’s three occupants, Genny Lynn Miller, 47; Hugh Richard King, 42, and Susan Marie Dixon, 45, all of Millsboro, were arrested and charged with possession of marijuana. They were taken before a District Court Commissioner and later released.

Bike Ditched

ASSATEAGUE – A Pennsylvania man was arrested on drunk driving and drug charges last weekend after allegedly crashing his motorcycle into a ditch on Assateague Island.

Shortly after noon last Sunday, Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) responded to a motorcycle accident on Route 611 at Bayberry Drive on Assateague. Upon arrival, NRP officers found the driver, later identified as Robert Vernon Laukhuff, 48, of Pequea, Pa., standing next to a motorcycle that was in the bushes at the bottom of a ditch.

After failing field sobriety tests, Laukhuff was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, driving while impaired and other related offenses. A search of Laukhuff subsequent to his arrest revealed suspected marijuana in his pants and possession charges were tacked on.

Hit-and-Run Probed

SNOW HILL – Local law enforcement agencies this week are looking for a vehicle and driver associated with the hit-and-run accident of a 14-year-old boy on his bicycle near Snow Hill.

Around 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Maryland State Police troopers responded to the area of Route 12 and Taylor Landing Rd. for a reported hit-and-run incident. The investigation revealed a 14-year-old boy was on his bicycle in the area when he stopped on the shoulder of the road. While he was stopped on the side of the road, a blue passenger car traveling at a high rate of speed hit the front tire of the child’s bike.

The victim was not hurt in the collision, but the blue passenger vehicle of an unknown make and model failed to remain at the scene. Anyone with information about the collision, the vehicle or its driver is urged to contact the Maryland State Police Berlin barrack at 410-641-3101.

Stet Docket For Alleged Stabber

SNOW HILL – A West Ocean City woman, arrested in May on assault and reckless endangerment charges last weekend after allegedly slashing her live-in boyfriend during an argument over what he was preparing for dinner, had the charges against her placed on the stet, or inactive, docket last week in Circuit Court.

Around 3:30 p.m. on May 30, a Maryland State Police (MSP) trooper went back to the MSP Berlin barrack to investigate a reported first-degree assault. The trooper met with the victim who told police he had been stabbed by his live-in girlfriend, later identified as Zoila Arely Ramirez-Andrade, at the couple’s West Ocean City residence.

Emergency Services responded to the Berlin barrack and treated the victim for a two-inch slash on his forearm. The victim told police he and Ramirez-Andrade were involved in a verbal argument, which escalated into a physical confrontation over the food the victim was preparing. MSP troopers responded to the residence on Keyser Point Rd. and located and arrested Ramirez-Andrade.

According to police reports, Ramirez-Andrade admitted she stabbed the victim because she was tired of arguing with him. Ramirez-Andrade was arrested and charged with first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment. Last week in Circuit Court, Ramirez-Andrade had the charges against her placed on the stet docket.

Jail Time For ‘Lewd and Indecent’

SNOW HILL – A Whaleyville man arrested in July for disorderly conduct after performing “lewd and indecent” acts in a West Ocean City department store pleaded guilty this week and was sentenced to 90 days in jail.

Around 2:15 p.m. on July 15, Maryland State Police troopers responded to the Marshall’s department store in West Ocean City for a report of an individual performing disturbing acts inside the store. The troopers located the suspect, later identified as Jeffrey Whitman, 27, and detained him.

Witness statements confirmed Whitman was performing lewd and indecent acts while inside the store. At a later interview at the MSP Berlin barrack, Whitman admitted to the acts at Marshall’s in West Ocean City and revealed he had committed similar acts at the Ross Department Store in Salisbury. An investigation confirmed a similar incident had been reported at the department store in Salisbury a week earlier. This week in District Court, Whitman pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and was sentenced to 90 days in jail.

Probation, Fine In Machete Case

OCEAN CITY – One of two Pennsylvania men arrested in June for threatening a group of people with a machete during a fight on 69th Street pleaded guilty this week in District Court to carrying a concealed dangerous weapon and was placed on probation and fined.

Around 12:20 a.m. on June 11, OCPD officers were dispatched to a reported call about an unidentified man in a black Volkswagen Jetta threatening someone with a machete at 69th Street. When the officers arrived, they did not see the Jetta, but did observe dozens of people in the street at the end of the block in what appeared to be a fight about to start. When the officers arrived, the large group dispersed in all directions leaving behind dozens of beer cans and broken beer bottles.

The officers met with a man who said several individuals came to his residence on 69th Street and attempted to start a fight, including one who was carrying a machete. The witness told police he observed the suspect attempt to conceal the machete in his pants and the group left the area in a black VW Jetta. The witness told police he knew at least one of the suspects in the vehicle and the OCPD officer had the witness call the known suspect on his cell phone.

According to police reports, the suspect told the witness they planned to return to 69th Street. The officer gave the witness his cell phone number and told him to call if and when the Jetta returned. About 10 minutes later, the officer received a call from the witness the suspect’s vehicle had returned. The officer went back to the scene and observed the Jetta. According to police reports, the officer approached the Jetta with caution because of concern about the potential weapon in the vehicle.

A search of the vehicle revealed a machete in the car between the front passenger seat and the front passenger door. A further search turned up various amounts of marijuana and paraphernalia throughout the vehicle.

Derek F. Strasbaugh, 18, and Zachary Ford, 19, both of New Oxford, Pa., were arrested and charged with carrying a concealed dangerous weapon and marijuana possession charges. This week in District Court, Strasbaugh pleaded guilty to carrying a concealed dangerous weapon and was placed on probation for one year and fined $500. Ford is set to appear for trial later this fall.

Highway Robbery Goes To Circuit

BERLIN – A Berlin man arrested in July on assault and robbery charges after allegedly robbing a man traveling in a vehicle with him had his case forwarded to Circuit Court last week after a preliminary hearing on the facts of the case.

Around 11 p.m. on July 16, Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a reported robbery in a vehicle on Route 50 near the Glen Riddle community. Upon arrival at the scene, deputies met with a victim, who told them he was riding in a vehicle with two other individuals who demanded his money, cell phone and keys.

Based on the investigation, the sheriff’s deputies were able to identify one of the suspects as Robert William Merryman, 22, who was arrested a short time later and charged with first-degree robbery and first- and second-degree assault. He appeared in District Court last week for a preliminary hearing and had his case forwarded to Circuit Court.

60 Years For Crack Dealing

SNOW HILL – A Snow Hill man convicted last April on several counts of distribution of crack cocaine was sentenced last week to a combined 60 years in prison, the largest drug distribution sentence handed down in Worcester County in recent memory.

Clifton Alexander Waters, 43, appeared in Worcester County Circuit Court last week for a sentencing hearing after a conviction last April on 18 counts of crack cocaine distribution and possession. Waters was sentenced to a combined 140 years for nine of the 18 convictions, with 60 years to be served consecutively. Eighty years of the sentence are to be served concurrent to the other sentences handed down last week.

Worcester County Bureau of Investigations (WCBI) narcotics task force detectives began to put together an investigation into Waters’ alleged dealing in the Snow Hill area in January 2009 when they first enlisted the help of a confident informer. WCBI detectives used the confidential informant to arrange crack cocaine purchases from Waters from different locations around the Snow Hill area as they built a case against the suspected dealer.

For example, on Jan. 17, 2009, detectives provided the informant with departmental funds to arrange the purchase of crack cocaine from Waters, also known as “Frog,” according to police reports. The informant reached Waters via cell phone and arranged the deal, then met with Waters at the predetermined time and location and completed the transaction. On that occasion, the informant went to the pre-arranged location and met with Waters, who was sitting in his vehicle.

On Jan. 31, 2009, the confidential informant arranged a similar transaction with Waters, which was carried out in practically the same exact way. The informant arranged the deal via cell phone, met Waters at the appointed time and place and completed the cocaine purchase while detectives observed the transaction. The same scenario played out again on Feb. 7, 2009, according to police reports.

On Feb. 14, 2009, Waters and the confidential informant deviated somewhat from the original plan. On that date, the informant was told to come to Waters’ residence in Snow Hill and meet him at a steel door in the rear of the building to complete the transaction. On Feb. 21, 2009, the informant set up a deal via cell phone and detectives watched as Waters left his residence moments after the call was completed and followed the suspect to the appointed location for the deal. Similar scenarios played out again on March 7, March 14 and March 28, 2009.

Based on the evidence collected, a Worcester County grand jury in July 2009 indicted Waters on 18 counts of possession and distribution and he was found guilty in April 2010.

Failure To Appear Warrant

SNOW HILL – A Delaware woman arrested on theft and drug charges in June after police recovered stolen goods and marijuana in her luggage failed to appear for trial this week in District Court and had a warrant sworn out for her arrest.

Around 9:15 p.m. on June 6, a Maryland State Police (MSP) trooper responded to a reported theft complaint at a residence on Mulberry Street in Newark. During the investigation, the trooper was able to recover the victim’s stolen property in the luggage of Jane Ellis Anne Walker, 30, of Bear, Del. Also located in Walker’s luggage was a substantial amount of marijuana along with numerous smoking devices.

Walker’s trial was set for this week in District Court, but she failed to appear and had a warrant sworn out for her arrest.

OC Fire Leads To
Smoke Detector Warning

OCEAN CITY – On Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010 at approximately 4:08 a.m, the Ocean City Fire Department was dispatched to 9307 Chesapeake Drive for a reported building fire.

Responders located and extinguished a fire within the kitchen area of the unit. One civilian was treated on the scene by EMS for smoke inhalation.  Crews remained on the scene for approximately one hour performing overhaul operations.  Investigators from the Office of the Fire Marshal determined the cause of the fire to be accidental.  There were no working smoke alarms present in the unit.

While this incident resulted in only a minor injury, the result could have been much worse had the occupant not been awake.  Working smoke alarms are vital in notification of a fire, allowing you and your family adequate time to escape.  A report published by the National Fire Protection Association stated that the most common reason for smoke detector failure in the U.S. was missing or dead batteries.  It is estimated that approximately 900 lives could be saved annually if all homes had working smoke detectors.  

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