OCEAN CITY – Law enforcement agencies across lower Delaware this week are searching for a missing Silver Spring, Md. man who was last seen in Easton attempting to take a bus to Ocean City.
Around 11 p.m. last Friday, a concerned citizen contacted the Dewey Beach Police Department to report suspicious property found on the beach in that Delaware resort town. Dewey Police officers responded to the scene and met with the witness, who told them the property was first observed in the afternoon, but the witness assumed someone would return later to claim it.
The officers recovered the property and took it to the Dewey police station. An inventory search of the property turned up clothing, a large amount of cash, identification cards and numerous journals. The property’s owner was identified as Jung Han Lee, 36, of Silver Spring. Information contained in the journals concerned the officers and they concluded from them Lee could be a risk to himself.
Also included in the property was documentation that Lee had been in contact with the Easton Police Department two days earlier. Easton Police reported Lee had been dropped off at a convenience store in Easton and was scheduled to take a bus to Ocean City but that was the last time he was seen.
Dewey Police conducted a search of the area, but Lee was not located. All proper notifications were made to surrounding police, medical and emergency agencies. The victim’s family has been contacted and family members have been active in the investigation. Last Saturday, Dewey Police, assisted by several other police agencies, conducted a ground and aerial search throughout Dewey Beach and the Delaware Seashore State Park to the south, but the search yielded no new information or evidence.
The victim has been added to the NCIC database and is listed as a missing person. Lee is described as an Asian male, 36, with a medium complexion, about 5’6” and 150 pounds. Anyone with information about Lee’s whereabouts is urged to contact the Dewey Beach Police Department immediately at 302-227-1110.
Charges Dropped In Flashing
OCEAN CITY – An East New Market woman arrested on indecent exposure charges in July after allegedly treating an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer and a couple of teenage boys to a moonlight, water’s edge topless jaunt on the beach had the charges against her dropped last week in District Court.
Shortly after 3 a.m. on July 11, an OCPD officer on uniformed patrol at 61st Street and the beach observed two silhouetted figures at the water’s edge. According to the officer’s report, the light from the moon illuminated the two figures against the backdrop of the ocean and he could see a group of about five individuals about 45 feet further south on the beach.
Because it is illegal for any individuals to be on the beach after midnight and before 5 a.m., except police and town maintenance personnel, the officer approached the two individuals near the water’s edge. According to the report, the officer used his flashlight for his own safety and illuminated two subjects near the water.
When he shined his flashlight on the two individuals, he observed one of them, later identified as Jennifer N. Garner, 26, was naked from the waist up with only a bikini bottom on from the waist down. Garner was with another female who was fully clothed. When the officer shined his flashlight on Garner, she turned toward the light and exposed her bare breasts to him.
Garner then fled the scene and the officer gave chase on foot, calling on her several times to stop running. According to police reports, the officer kept his flashlight trained on Garner as he chased her for his own safety.
Garner continued to run and the officer continued to chase her, even after he told her to stop several times. At one point, she reached down to pick up an object later identified as her black and white striped shirt. At that point, Garner stopped running and the officer approached her. He told her to put her shirt on, which took about a minute and a half, according to police reports, and the officer handcuffed her at that point. According to police reports, the officer turned off his flashlight while Garner was putting her shirt back on.
Meanwhile, the officer questioned an adult male with two younger boys who appeared under the age of 16, according to police reports. The adult male and the two boys, who were both 15 years old, had witnessed Garner’s actions on the beach. The adult said they did not know Garner and told the officer “you could definitely see.”
Garner was arrested and charged with indecent exposure and disorderly conduct. Last week, however, the charges against her were nolle prossed, or not prosecuted.
Pot Seller Sent Back to Jail
SNOW HILL – A Salisbury man convicted on marijuana distribution charges after a Boardwalk arrest in June 2009 appeared in Circuit Court last week for a violation of probation hearing and was sent back to jail for eight months.
Michael Bernard Code, 29, was arrested in June 2009 during an Ocean City police “buy-bust” narcotics operation conducted on the Boardwalk. Throughout the summer, OCPD narcotics detectives target the sale of illegal drugs in the resort, particularly the Boardwalk, with undercover sting operations during which they act sometimes as potential buyers and at others at potential seller.
On June 13, 2009, Code was arrested for attempting to sell marijuana to an undercover OCPD narcotics detective. Code was later convicted on a marijuana distribution charge, but his sentence was suspended in favor of probation. He was originally sentenced to 18 months, most of which was later suspended in favor of a lengthy probation period.
Notorious OC Burglar
Sentenced to Six Years
SNOW HILL – An Ocean City man convicted on a second-degree burglary charge for a series of break-ins in the resort in 2007 was sent back to jail for six years last week after it was determined he had violated the terms of his probation.
Stanley Charles Celmer III, 32, who had a penchant for breaking and entering in the resort, was convicted in 2007 on a second-degree burglary charge and was sentenced to 12 years in jail, all but half of which was then suspended. However, he has since violated to terms of parole and probation and was sent back to jail for an additional six years after a VOP hearing in Circuit Court last week.
Celme pleaded guilty in 2007 to second-degree burglary after breaking in to a Boardwalk business that December, not long after he completed an eight-month stretch for a string of similar burglaries in Ocean City dating back to the winter of 2005 and 2006. During that span, resort police handled as many as 60 cases of breaking and entering and theft at vacant stores along the Boardwalk and throughout Ocean City.
Resort detectives were able to connect Celmer to about 20 of the cases and warrants were sworn out for his arrest. Celmer’s whereabouts were unknown in the winter of 2006 until OCPD investigators got a tip from the public the suspect had fled the resort and was in Florida. Two Ocean City detectives traveled to Florida and arrested Celmer on Feb. 17, 2006 and he was extradited to Worcester County to face burglary and theft charges for as many as 21 of the unsolved cases in Ocean City.
Last summer, Celmer pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary, fourth-degree burglary and attempted second-degree burglary and was sentenced to a total of 23 years for the three convictions combined, all of which was suspended but eight months.
In December 2006, not long after he completed his sentence, Celmer was up to his old tricks again and this time he was sentenced to a long stretch in jail. On Dec. 19, the OCPD responded to the Dippin’ Dots on the Boardwalk near 2nd Street for a reported break-in. The officers met with the storeowner, who told them surveillance video revealed someone had broken into the store and stolen $200 from the cash register.
The officers inspected the back door and found it had been pried open at the dead bolt to gain entry. Celmer had been seen in the area of the burglary and was known to be living on 2nd Street. Detective Vickie Martin, who was investigating the case, had arrested Celmer in the past on burglary charges and tried to connect him to the Dippin’ Dots case.
Martin later interviewed Celmer admitted to the crime. Celmer told Martin he used the money to buy crack cocaine and beer, according to the police report.
Weed Dealer Convicted
SNOW HILL – The second of two Pennsylvania men arrested in June for selling marijuana to undercover OCPD officers last week pleaded guilty to a distribution charge and was sentenced to a year in jail, most of which was suspended in favor of probation and a fine.
On June 12, undercover OCPD officers were working a buy-bust detail in the area of St. Louis Ave. when they approached two individuals and inquired about purchasing marijuana. The two suspects, later identified as Zachary R. Witman and Kyler Killian, both 19 and both of Middletown, Pa., walked to a vehicle parked directly in front of the undercover officers’ vehicle.
Wittman and Killian handed the agreed upon amount of pot to the undercover officers through the window of their vehicle. Two uniformed officers then arrested Killian and Wittman without incident. Killian was charged with possession and distribution of marijuana, while Wittman was charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana. A search of their vehicle turned up an unknown quantity of weed and a digital scale.
Last week, Killian pleaded guilty to one count of marijuana distribution and was sentenced to a year in jail. All but 21 days was then suspended from the sentence, which he will serve on 10 consecutive weekends. He was also placed on probation for two years and fined $500. Witman appeared for trial for the same charges in September and entered an Alford Plea to a marijuana possession charge and was placed on probation for 90 days and fined $500.
Thief Heading Back to Jail
SNOW HILL – A Bel Air man who received a suspended sentence for a fourth-degree burglary charge back in 2007 for stealing a power saw from a downtown Ocean City store violated the terms of his probation and was sent back to jail for 18 months last week in Circuit Court.
Craig Steven Tillman, now 41, of Bel Air, pleaded guilty to fourth-degree burglary in 2007 after his suspicious actions led to the recovery of stolen property and was sentenced to 18 months, all of which was suspended in favor of probation at the time. However, Tillman has since violated the terms of his probation and following a hearing in Circuit Court last week was sent back to jail to serve the original 18-month sentence.
On Oct. 24, 2006, Ocean City police responded to a local business on Dorchester Street in reference to a theft. When the officer arrived she met with a store employee who said a man, later identified as Tillman, entered the establishment attempting to cash a check.
After the man left, the employee noticed an orange power saw, which he had rented, was missing from the area. According to court documents, the saw was inside an adjoining building that could only be accessed from the inside by opening a closed door marked with a sign reading, “Employees Only.” The officer contacted the business owner and they reviewed several of the store’s 16 surveillance cameras on-site. The footage revealed that Tillman went in and out of the establishment, then returned a second time with the stolen saw in tow, according to reports. Assisting officers spotted Tillman driving on Coastal Highway and they initiated a traffic stop.
After speaking with Tillman about the reported crime, officers located the stolen saw inside his vehicle. He was then placed under arrest for burglary and theft charges.
County Fire Companies
SNOW HILL – All 10 Worcester County volunteer fire companies passed their annual inspections this week under the watchful eye of the Fire Marshal’s Office.
On Monday, the 10 volunteer fire companies in the county participated in the annual inspection and pump test. The fire companies in the south end of the county were tested in Snow Hill while the north end fire companies were tested in Ocean Pines. Two sets of judges were used during the separate tests, along with a deputy fire marshal at each testing location.
The fire companies tested passed their respective inspection and pump tests. Judges in the south end included Pocomoke Fire Chief Dicky Gladding and Joe Truitt of Girdletree along with Deputy Fire Marshal Rodney Sharpley, Sr. In the north end, the judges included Chief Chris Cropper of Showell, Charlie Townsend of Berlin, Mac McCabe of Bishopville and Chief Deputy Fire Marshal Matt Owens.