Uptown Drug Bust

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OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City woman was arrested last weekend on drug distribution and possession charges after a search and seizure warrant was executed at her north end residence.

Last Saturday, the Worcester County Criminal Enforcement Team and Ocean City Police executed a search and seizure warrant at a residence on Newport Bay Drive following an ongoing investigation into the illegal distribution of prescription narcotics and Phencyclidine (PCP). During the execution of the warrant, a suspect identified as Robin Dale Smith, 54, was located in the residence and was arrested for distribution of prescription narcotics and PCP.

Once inside the residence, officers located a large amount of prescription narcotic pills, four vials with PCP residue and associated paraphernalia, straws with pill residue used to snort drugs, syringes and other smoking pipes. Smith was taken before a District Court Commissioner and was released after posting a $25,000 bond. Narcotics investigators are awaiting chemical analysis on some of the suspected drugs recovered during the execution of the warrant and additional charges are pending.

Refuses To Pay, Trashes Cab

WEST OCEAN CITY — A Berlin man was arrested on malicious destruction of property and theft charges last weekend after allegedly refusing to pay a cab fare and then trashing the vehicle after getting out.

Shortly before 1 a.m. last Sunday, Maryland State Police troopers were dispatched to the area of Deep Channel Drive and Anchor Way in Mystic Harbor in reference to a disorderly subject. Upon arrival, troopers made contact with a cab driver who told police the suspect, later identified as Jess Matthew Hein, 28, of Berlin, was in the rear of the vehicle.

The cab driver told police she picked up Hein and was advised to take him to Mystic Harbor. Once inside the community, Hein allegedly told the driver to stop the cab and let him out. The driver told Hein the fare was $18.40, but he allegedly refused to pay and got out of the cab.

Once outside the taxi, Hein allegedly began beating on the side of the cab. He also began pulling up and down on the passenger side mirror until it broke off before tossing it in the landscaping at the entrance to the community. Hein was arrested and charged with malicious destruction of property and theft under $100. He was taken before a District Court Commissioner and was released on personal recognizance.

Two Arrested At Berlin Fight

BERLIN — A Snow Hill man was arrested at a Berlin apartment complex last week after allegedly getting into a fight and later being found with a knife and drugs.

Around 2 a.m. last Thursday, Berlin Police responded to the Decatur Apartments for a reported fight in progress. Upon arrival, officers observed a suspect, later identified as Daquan Mills, 19, of Snow Hill, acting in a disorderly manner. The investigation revealed Mills had allegedly assaulted another individual shortly before police arrived.

Mills was arrested and during a subsequent search, was found with a knife on his person along with suspected marijuana. Berlin Police also found Dashon Drummond, 19, of Berlin, among the crowd. Earlier in the day, Drummond was ordered off the Decatur Apartments property, so he was also arrested. Mills was charged with second-degree assault, trespassing, carrying a concealed deadly weapon and possession of marijuana. Drummond was charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct.

Blockbuster Robber Sought

SALISBURY — Salisbury Police this week are looking for a suspect who robbed employees at a video rental store after threatening them with an alleged weapon.

Around 8:30 p.m. on Monday, Salisbury Police responded to the Blockbuster on S. Salisbury Blvd. for a reported armed robbery that had just taken place. Store employees told police an unidentified man entered the store, approached the employee working behind the counter and ordered the cash register to be opened. According to employees, the suspect did not display a weapon, but kept his left hand in his pants pocket as if to indicate he was carrying a weapon.

A second employee approached and was allegedly told by the suspect not to use the phone. The suspect then took the second employee’s phone, wallet and an undetermined amount of cash from the register before fleeing on foot toward Register Street. The employees were not injured in the incident.

The suspect is described as a white male, about 6’1” tall with a thin build. He was wearing a black baseball hat, black leather jacket and dark blue jeans with a black bandana covering his face from the nose down. The suspect also had a “cross” tattoo on the top of his right hand and either a rash or a birthmark near his right eye. Anyone with information is urged to contact Salisbury Police at (410) 548-3165.

Rare Coins, Autograph
Ball Thieves Sentenced

SNOW HILL — Two of the three local men arrested last August on burglary and theft charges after swiping thousands of dollars’ worth of rare coins, autographed baseballs and an old handgun from the grandfather of one suspect pleaded guilty this week in Circuit Court to third-degree burglary and received similar sentences.

Back on Aug. 6, Ocean Pines police responded to residence on King Richard Drive for a reported burglary and theft. Officers met with a victim who said he walked into a bedroom at the residence and discovered about $300 in cash missing from his wife’s purse. The victim then looked around the room and noticed a cherry case containing 15 commemorative coins from the 1996 Olympics was also missing.

The victim told police his grandson, later identified as Shawn Patrick Murray, 18, of Berlin, was likely the perpetrator. The victim told police Murray did not have a key to the residence, but was the only individual who likely knew where the valuable items were kept. The victim also explained Murray had been a guest at the residence, but had been asked to leave after inviting over friends who made a mess.

The victim was told to search the residence to determine what else, if anything, had been stolen. When police returned two days later, the victim told investigators several rare coins and currency had been stolen, along with a baseball autographed by Hall of Famers Babe Ruth and Rabbit Maranville, along with another baseball autographed by Baltimore Orioles legend Brooks Robinson.

The victim told police the Babe Ruth baseball had been appraised about seven years earlier at $35,000. In addition, the victim also reported as stolen a rare French-made Unique-brand .32 caliber handgun. The victim told police he had registered the handgun with the Maryland State Police when he acquired it in 1956, but did not know the serial number. The total estimated value of all of the stolen items came to $51,661.

Ocean Pines police, with the assistance of the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation, were able to track some of the stolen items to local pawnshops and jewelers and nearly all of the stolen property was recovered and returned to the victim.

Police located Murray and he admitted entering his grandfather’s home and stealing the coins, currency, autographed balls and the handgun. The investigation led to other arrests, including Travis James Melvin, 20, of Ocean Pines; William Casey Burke, 23, of Ocean Pines; and a 17-year-old female. Murray and Melvin were each charged with first-, third- and fourth-degree burglary and theft over $10,000. Burke was charged with theft over $10,000 and the juvenile female was charged with multiple counts of burglary and theft.

This week in Circuit Court, Murray and Melvin each pleaded guilty to third-degree burglary and each was sentenced to three years in jail. For Murray, all of his sentence but five months and 19 days were suspended and he was placed on probation for three years and ordered to complete 40 hours of community service. Melvin had all but eight months of his sentence suspended and was also placed on probation for three years. Murray and Melvin were ordered to pay $7,583 in restitution to the victim. Burke is scheduled to appear for trial on Feb. 23.

Baton Wielder Convicted

OCEAN CITY — One of four men arrested in July after a four-on-four fight in the downtown area was found guilty last week of second-degree assault and was fined $1,000.

Around 1:30 a.m. on July 9, Ocean City Police responded to the area of the 7-Eleven store on N. Division Street for a reported fight in progress. As officers arrived, they observed two groups of four that appeared to have been fighting or were about to fight on Baltimore Ave. The two groups were shouting obscenities and threats at each other, causing a crowd of onlookers to form on the sidewalk and on the balconies or nearby motels and condos.

Police approached the first group and had them sit against the wall of a nearby building while they sorted out what had happened. When officers approached the second group, they observed a suspect later identified as Joshua Carlos Prat, 21, of Reading, Pa., waving an expandable baton in the air and taunting the first group with “come get me.” When Prat saw the police officers, he attempted to collapse the baton before walking behind a row of parked cars and re-emerging without the weapon.

As the officers approached the second group, which also included James Wells, 20, of Wyomissing, Pa., John Robles, 21, of Reading, Pa., and Michael Burton, 20, of Reading, Pa., they saw the group continue to urge the first group to fight and yell and gesture despite the presence of the police officers.

One OCPD officer asked Prat where he threw the baton, to which he allegedly said “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Another officer then found the weapon behind a tire of a parked car. OCPD officers then began to pat down the other members of the group to see if they had any more weapons. When they got to Burton, the suspect warned them he had a fixed-blade knife in his pocket, which was then recovered.

When the officers questioned the first group, one of the victims told police Prat had struck him in the back of the head with the baton. The officer observed injuries on the victim consistent with the story. Prat then told the officer he wished to speak with him. When the officer told Prat he was lucky he didn’t seriously injure the victim, Prat allegedly said “I know I could have hurt him, but can’t you drop the assault charge and just give me disorderly?”

The plea fell on deaf ears as Prat was charged with first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct and carrying a deadly weapon. Burton was also charged with disorderly conduct and carrying a deadly weapon, while Wells and Robles were charged with disorderly conduct.

Last week, Prat pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and was fined $1,000. In November, Wells was found guilty to disorderly conduct and was placed on probation for one year and fined $300. Robles failed to appear for court and had a warrant sworn out for his arrest, while Burton is scheduled to appear for trial on March 14.

Assault Conviction

SNOW HILL — The second of three men arrested in July after allegedly kicking and stomping a man in the 45th Street area pleaded guilty this week in Circuit Court to second-degree assault and now awaits his fate pending the completion of a pre-sentence investigation.

Shortly before 3 a.m. on July 4, OCPD responded to the 45th Street area for a reported fight in progress. Upon arrival, OCPD officers met with a severely injured victim suffering severe wounds to his face, head and neck. The victim was unresponsive to the officers’ questions because of his injuries and was eventually transported to an area hospital.

Police met with the victim’s wife who said her husband had been in a fight with several Hispanic males. During the fight, the victim was pushed to the ground and the suspects repeatedly kicked him in the head, face and neck. The victim’s wife said the beating went on for several minutes before the suspects heard police sirens and fled the area.

The victim’s wife and several witnesses provided police with a description of the suspects and the Acura sedan in which they were traveling. The Acura was spotted a short time later in the 42nd Street area, and when the officers stopped and approached the vehicle, two of the suspects got out and fled on foot despite orders from police to stop.

However, three suspects remained in the vehicle and were detained until the victim’s wife and other witnesses were brought to the scene to identify them as the attackers.

The three suspects, identified as Oscar Segovia, 22, of Hyattsville, Jonathan Lopez, 20, of Bladensburg, and Henry Sorto, 23, of Beltsville, were each arrested and charged with first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct for “endangering the victim’s life by kicking him in the head and neck,” according to police reports.

On Tuesday, Segovia pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and a pre-sentence investigation was ordered. Last month, Sorto pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and was sentenced to three years in jail, all but one of which was then suspended. He was also placed on probation for two years and fined $500, along with being ordered to pay $2,187 in restitution to the victim. Lopez was scheduled to appear for trial this week, but his case was postponed until March 12.

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