OCEAN CITY — Three Berlin residents were arrested on various drug distribution charges last week after allegedly making transactions with undercover Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers taking advantage of their expanded jurisdiction outside city limits.
Earlier this year, OCPD narcotics officers were sworn in as fully vested law enforcement officers, giving them full police powers throughout Worcester County. In September, the OCPD began to take advantage of those newly expanded powers with a drug distribution investigation into neighboring West Ocean City.
In September, OCPD narcotics officers initiated a drug distribution investigation targeting DeShawn Spence, Sr., 31, of Berlin. An undercover officer contacted Spence on Sept. 22 and made arrangements to purchase $100 worth of crack cocaine. Spence advised the officer to come to a residence on Maple Street to complete the transaction, but when the officer told Spence he could not get a ride, Spence agreed to meet the officer at a restaurant in West Ocean City.
Around 8 p.m., Spence arrived at the restaurant’s parking lot as a passenger in a vehicle driven by Michelle Lancaster, also of Berlin. Spence allegedly told the officer he was just waiting for his supplier and would complete the transaction when the supplier arrived. A short time later, another vehicle entered the parking lot and Spence walked to it and got in. Spence then returned and completed the transaction with the undercover officer.
Two days later, on Sept. 24, the officer again contacted Spence about purchasing crack cocaine. A meeting was arranged at the Royal Farms convenience store on Route 50, but Spence called back and changed the location to the Park-and-Ride near Old Bridge Rd. Spence allegedly told the officer to call him when he was close and he would walk to him, leading the officer to believe Spence was staying somewhere nearby, according to police reports.
On Sept. 29, the officer contacted Spence again and made arrangements to purchase more crack cocaine, this time at a residence on Lark Lane in Ocean City.
On Oct. 7, another transaction was arranged, this time at the Food Lion on Route 611. The officer arrived at the appointed time and entered the store. A short time later, Spence arrived in a vehicle driven by Lancaster, with another man, later identified as D’Vaughn Jeronte Miller, also of Berlin, in the front passenger seat. The transaction was completed inside the Food Lion grocery store.
As Spence exited the store, he was met by members of the OCPD’s Quick Response Team (QRT), who took the alleged dealer into custody without incident. Spence was charged with four counts of possession and distribution of crack cocaine. Lancaster, who had driven Spence to the drug transactions on different occasions was also arrested and charged with two counts of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine.
Meanwhile, Miller, who remained in the vehicle while the busts were going down, got out and took off running, nearly getting hit by a mini-van as he dashed across Route 611. OCPD officers gave chase and caught Miller in the woods along Harbor Master Blvd. about a quarter of a mile from where the chase began. Miller was found with a quantity of crack cocaine and currency on his person to suggest he was also dealing and was also charged with possession and distribution.
More Drug Arrests In WOC
OCEAN CITY — Two more local men were arrested by Ocean City Police last week on drug distribution charges in West Ocean City following an expansion of the resort’s police department’s powers outside city limits.
Early last year, OCPD narcotics officers were sworn in as fully vested law enforcement officials giving them full police powers outside town limits.
In August, OCPD undercover narcotics officers began an investigation into the alleged drug distribution activities of Edward Lee Byrd, 31, of Pocomoke, in the resort area. For example, on Aug. 19, an undercover OCPD officer made arrangements to purchase crack cocaine from Byrd at the Royal Farms store on Route 50, a transaction later completed in the store’s restroom.
On Aug. 30, a similar deal with Byrd was arranged and completed at the Royal Farms store in West Ocean City following the same basic procedure. On September 16, another transaction was arranged, again at the Royal Farms, but this time, Byrd changed the location to the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant on the opposite side of Route 50. Around 2:40 p.m., while the officer waited inside the restaurant, Byrd arrived in a nearby parking lot as the sole occupant of the vehicle. The crack cocaine purchase was then completed inside the restaurant’s restroom.
On October 12, a similar transaction was arranged and completed, again in the restroom of the Kentucky Fried Chicken. Immediately after the last transaction, three other OCPD officers entered the restroom and took Byrd into custody without incident. He was charged with four counts of possession and distribution of crack cocaine.
After Byrd was arrested, an OCPD officer observed a vehicle in which Byrd had traveled before in the parking lot of the Wendy’s nearby. A suspect, later identified as Shannon William Marshall, 35, of Salisbury, was waiting in the vehicle. OCPD officers, one of whom recognized Marshall from prior interactions, detained Marshall based on the evidence.
In the center console, in plain view, was a baggie of marijuana and a “blunt.” Also observed in plain view was a baggie of powder cocaine on the front passenger seat. Marshall was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and cocaine.
Robbery, Assault Alleged
SALISBURY — A Salisbury man was arrested on assault and theft charges last week after allegedly assaulting a restaurant worker and taking back the money he paid for drinks.
Around 10:15 p.m. last Friday, Salisbury Police responded to the Lagoon Bar and Grill for a reported assault. Officers met with an employee of the business, who told police she had been assaulted by a customer. The victim told police the suspect, later identified as Louie Joseph Amabili, 54, of Salisbury, had paid for his drinks before getting into an argument with the employee.
During the argument, Amabili allegedly assaulted the victim and took back the money he had paid for drinks before leaving the area. Amabili was later arrested on a warrant and charged with second-degree assault, robbery, theft and disorderly conduct.
SNOW HILL — A West Ocean City man convicted in July on two counts of second-degree assault for two separate incidents within a span of three months last winter during which he attempted to run over other individuals with a vehicle was sentenced last week in Circuit Court to five years for each conviction with all but one year suspended.
Alan Phillip Flynn, 32, of West Ocean City, appeared in Circuit Court last week for a sentencing hearing after pleading guilty in July to two counts of second-degree assault. Flynn was sentenced to five years for the Feb. 28 incident and five years for the Nov. 21 incident. In both cases, all but one year of the sentences were suspended. He was also placed on probation for 30 months in each case and fined $500. Flynn was also ordered to pay $250 in restitution to the victim in the February case and $1,576 in restitution in the earlier case.
Around 2:10 a.m. on Feb. 28, Maryland State Police (MSP) responded to a 911 call reporting a suspect that had hit two parked cars at the Lake Haven Trailer Park on Gray’s Corner Rd. MSP troopers learned through the investigation a suspect, later identified as Alan Phillip Flynn, 32, of West Ocean City, got into an altercation with the victim.
According to police reports, Flynn then began ramming cars in an attempt to run over the victim. Flynn was located a short time later at his West Ocean City residence. When MSP troopers and an assisting Worcester County Sheriff’s deputy attempted to take Flynn into custody, he allegedly resisted arrest before being detained. Flynn was charged with first- and second-degree assault, resisting arrest, reckless endangerment and malicious destruction of property. There were no injuries to the victim or police officers during the incident. Flynn later told police the altercation began when he attempted to purchase crack cocaine from the victim.
For Flynn, the February incident came on the heels of a similar incident last November during which he allegedly plowed his vehicle into a pedestrian in front of a downtown Ocean City bar before striking a tree and fleeing the scene.
Around 9 p.m. last Nov. 21, Ocean City police responded to Pickles Pub on 8th Street and Philadelphia Ave. for a reported hit-and-run collision involving a pedestrian with injuries. Ocean City police officers determined the suspect, later Flynn, allegedly became intoxicated in the pub and was asked by the establishment’s management to leave the premises.
According to police reports, while Flynn was leaving, he allegedly spat on a bar employee and another individual. The bar employee and the other individual followed Flynn outside where Flynn got into a vehicle parked across the street. At that point, Flynn intentionally drove his vehicle toward the two individuals, striking one of them. The vehicle also hit a tree before Flynn fled the area, according to police reports.
The OCPD broadcast a description of Flynn and the vehicle, which was found a short time later unoccupied in West Ocean City by a Worcester County Sheriff’s deputy. While OCPD officers were still back at Pickles Pub conducting witness and victim statements about the alleged hit-and-run incident that had just occurred, Flynn returned to the scene in a taxicab.
When Flynn saw the police gathered at the establishment, he attempted to flee the scene in a taxi, but the cab stopped about a half a block away. Flynn then jumped out of the cab and attempted to flee on foot. After a short pursuit, Flynn attempted to hide in a crawl space under an apartment building on 8th Street. With the assistance of the Maryland State Police and the Berlin Police K-9 officers, OCPD officers were able to get Flynn to come out from under the building and he surrendered. The victim was transported to AGH for treatment of injuries and was later released.
First Of Boardwalk Nine Convicted
SNOW HILL — The first group of nine Delaware men arrested in April on first-degree assault and gang-related charges after an alleged unprovoked and “vicious” attack on three men in the Boardwalk appeared in Circuit Court in Snow Hill for trial last week with varying outcomes.
Around 1:15 a.m. on April 24, the OCPD was dispatched to a reported fight in progress on the Boardwalk at Somerset Street. Upon arrival, an OCPD officer made contact with a male victim whose shirt was stretched and ripped at the collar and whose face was visibly bruised and swollen along with cuts and abrasions on its left side. The victim told police he and his three cousins were “jumped and assaulted” on the Boardwalk.
The victim told police they were approached while walking on the Boardwalk by a large group of males. One of the males in the group allegedly said to the victims “hey, what are you looking at?” and when the victims tried to ignore the query, the suspects repeated the question. The victim told police he tried to ignore the group, but was soon surrounded by as many as 15 assailants who attacked them.
Two of the victims were able to flee, but two were not able to get away because of the physical attack they were enduring. One of the victims told police he was tackled by the large group, who continuously punched him with closed fists and began kicking him in the head, face, abdomen and back while he was “helplessly lying on the ground trying unsuccessfully to block some of the vicious blows he was receiving,” according to police reports. The victim told police he felt he was on the ground for a significant amount of time as he was being battered.
One of the two victims told police he felt one of his assailants going through his pockets while he was being beaten, but could not identify the thief because of the vicious attack he was enduring. The suspect took from the victim a wallet containing about $90 in cash and a cell phone valued at around $200.
The other victim told police two male suspects from the group ran up to him and started punching him in the face with closed fists until he was knocked to the ground. The victim’s glasses were knocked from his face during the attack.
The second victim told police he attempted to fight back to protect himself when other members of the group joined in and “viciously and intentionally beat him in the face.” At one point, the second victim said his attackers left him alone and joined the group attacking his cousin.
The victims told police once the group finished their attack, they fled the area on foot. The victims were able to provide physical descriptions of their attackers, but told police they were more concerned with protecting themselves if the group returned and started beating them again. The victims told police they didn’t do anything to provoke the beatings. In fact, the victims told police they “felt as if they just did it for fun,” according to police reports.
A description of the assailants was broadcast and another OCPD officer immediately recognized the alleged attackers as a group he had observed earlier in the night. A description of the vehicles in which the assailants were traveling was broadcast and the two vehicles were located a short time later in the area of 54th Street. The victims were brought to the area to identify the attackers and positively identified six members of the group including Robert Hill, 20, of Camden, Del.; Jamera Fisher, 19, of Dover; Julian Freeman, 22, of Dover; D’Andrew Chandler, 18, of Dover; Duante Morrison, 18, of Magnolia; and Craig Powell, 25, of Dover.
Around two hours later, at 3:39 a.m., police located a third vehicle containing three more suspects in the area of 21st Street. Again, the victims were brought to the scene to identify the suspects, including Randall Harris, 18, of Dover; Keontre Hynson, 18, of Dover; and Zamale Bull, 19, of Harrington.
Last week in Circuit Court, Freeman was found guilty of participating in gang activity and was sentenced to five years in jail. Hill was found guilty of robbery and participation in gang activity and a pre-sentence investigation was ordered. He is scheduled to be sentenced in December. Trials are still pending for the remaining defendants.