Woman Rescued From Ocean

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OCEAN CITY — Ocean City Fire Department rescue swimmers made an early morning rescue on Tuesday, pulling an allegedly suicidal woman from the ocean about 100 yards off the beach between 1st and 2nd Streets.

Around 2:40 a.m. on Tuesday, Ocean City Communications received a call for an unidentified suicidal woman on the beach in the area of Caroline Street. As Ocean City Police arrived on the scene, the woman entered the ocean and swam away from shore.

The Ocean City Fire Department was immediately dispatched for a water rescue in the area of N. Division Street. Ocean City Police remained on scene and kept a visual line of sight on the potential victim until Ocean City Fire and EMS arrived on the scene. While OCFD and EMS personnel were in route, additional reports from communications stated the victim was now drifting between 1st and 2nd Street.

Upon arrival, emergency responders located the victim in the ocean roughly 80 to 100 yards offshore. Ocean City Fire Department Water Rescue Unit member Lieutenant Del Baker entered the water and was later assisted by Lieutenant David Peterson and Firefighter/Paramedic Bill Kuhn. The three rescue swimmers removed the victim from the water and she was treated by EMS and later transported to AGH for injuries not believed to be life-threatening.

“This was an excellent example of emergency responders working together to save a life,” said Ocean City Fire Department Chief Chris Larmore. “I am proud of the three members of our water rescue unit who entered the water last night, in addition to all of the fire, EMS, police and communication members that assisted.”

Stolen Phone Alarm
Leads To Suspect

OCEAN CITY — A Washington, D.C. man was arrested on theft and other charges this week after allegedly swiping I-Phones and credit cards from victims who used the phone’s technology to track the suspect.

Around 2:15 a.m. on Sunday, Ocean City Police responded to the 49th Street area for a report of the theft of three cell phones and credit cards. OCPD officers met with the victims who told police their cell phones, which were all I-Phones, had been stolen and they were tracking the stolen property’s whereabouts by using the cell phones’ GPS tracking features.

During the search for the stolen phones, which had been tracked to the 25th and 26th Street areas and the Crystal Beach Hotel, one of the victims was able to activate the audible alarm feature on a stolen cell phone. OCPD officers in the area heard the alarm and located the source of the sound emanating from Room 303.

OCPD officers located a suspect, later identified as Stanley Darnell Harris, 52, of Washington, D.C., in Room 303. The phone with the alarm still activated was found in Harris’ pants pocket. Officers recovered the phone and determined it was one of the three reported stolen. While on the scene, OCPD officers also recovered two other cell phones reported stolen along with two wallets belonging to the victims.

In addition to the stolen phones and wallets, Harris was found to be in possession of a fictitiously-altered military identification. He was charged with three counts of theft over $500 and under $1,000, theft scheme, theft under $100 and possession of a fraudulently altered military identification.

OC Burglar Sentenced

SNOW HILL — An Ocean City man, arrested in January for stealing a car in the resort and later jumping into the bay to avoid capture by police, all of which happened just nine days after he was charged with a spree of burglaries in the Montego Bay area dating back to May 2012, pleaded guilty to multiple charges this week in Circuit Court and was sentenced to six years in jail, all but one year of which was then suspended.

On Jan. 3, Ocean City police concluded a nine-month investigation into multiple burglaries with the arrest of Alexander George Ellis, 20, of Ocean City. For nine months, OCPD detectives investigated seven burglaries, all of which occurred in the Montego Bay community during the month of May.

Around 5:30 a.m. on Jan. 12, police responded to the area of Beachcomber Lane for a reported motor vehicle theft. When officers arrived in the area, they observed a vehicle matching the description of the reported stolen car parked near the victim’s residence with the engine running and a person sitting in the driver’s seat.

As officers approached the stolen car, the driver, later identified as Ellis, fled from the vehicle and jumped into the bay. Ellis was located and pulled from the water by officers and placed under arrest. During the investigation, OCPD officers located several items in the vehicle that did not belong to the owner of the car. The investigation revealed Ellis had allegedly stolen several items out of other vehicles belonging to at least three victims who lived in the area.

Ellis was out on bail at the time of the Jan. 12 incident after posting a $50,000 bond following his arrest for the six burglaries in Montego Bay. On June 7, the OCPD arrested Ellis after connecting him to a burglary on May 11. During the course of the investigation into several north-end burglaries, OCPD detectives developed Ellis as a suspect. OCPD officers served a search and seizure warrant on Ellis’ residence in regards to a separate incident when they discovered several items reported stolen in a burglary on May 11. In November, Ellis pleaded guilty to third-degree burglary after his arrest for another break-in in north Ocean City and was sentenced to three years, all but six months of which were suspended.

However, OCPD detectives were able to link Ellis to the six other burglaries in Montego Bay in May. OCPD detectives began receiving analysis of forensic evidence obtained at several of the crime scenes. As a result of that forensic analysis, in conjunction with other evidence obtained during the investigation, OCPD detectives have charged Ellis with the remaining unsolved Montego Bay burglaries.

Ellis appeared in Circuit Court this week to face a myriad of charges related to the Montego Bay burglaries and the stolen vehicle incident in January. He pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary and theft over $1,000 but under $10,000 and was sentenced to six years in jail for both although five years of the sentence was suspended. He also pleaded guilty to driving while impaired and was sentenced to an additional 60 days. Ellis was also placed on probation for two-and-a-half years and fined $500.

Heroin Dealer Sentenced

SNOW HILL — A Berlin man, arrested in October on heroin distribution charges after a months-long investigation into the trafficking of the narcotic in Worcester County, pleaded guilty this week in Circuit Court and was sentenced to eight years in jail, much of which was then suspended.

Over several months last fall, members of the Worcester County Criminal Enforcement Team and the Ocean City Police Narcotics Unit conducted several heroin distribution investigations in the north end of Worcester, specifically the Berlin and Ocean City areas. During the course of the investigations, David Sturgill, 33, of Berlin, was identified as an alleged source of the heroin.

On Oct. 25, 2012, surveillance indicated Sturgill was traveling to the Baltimore area accompanied by a female, later identified as Lauren Ann Johnson, 24, of Ocean City. On Oct. 26, a search-and-seizure warrant was authored by the Criminal Enforcement Team for Sturgill’s vehicle, person and residence.

Members of the Criminal Enforcement Team, along with the Maryland State Police, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office and the Berlin Police Department, stopped Sturgill’s vehicle as it entered into Worcester near the intersection of Libertytown Rd. and Ninepin Branch Rd. in Berlin.

Sturgill and Johnson were taken into custody without incident. As a result of the search and seizure warrant being executed on Sturgill and his vehicle, investigators located 105 individually wrapped bags of heroin, a digital scale and various items of paraphernalia and seized Sturgill’s Ford F-150 truck. Around 5:40 p.m., the search and seizure warrant was served at Sturgill’s residence and various items of paraphernalia were discovered.

This week, Sturgill pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute heroin and was sentenced to eight years in jail. All but three years of the sentence were then suspended and Sturgill was placed on probation for three years upon his release and was fined $500. Johnson is scheduled to appear for trial later this month.

Three Years For Robbery

BERLIN — A Berlin man arrested in November on armed robbery and first-degree assault charges after holding up a woman at gunpoint at a Berlin apartment complex pleaded guilty last week and was sentenced to eight years in jail, over half of which was then suspended.

Around 10:45 p.m. on Nov. 8, Berlin Police arrested Lavar D. Harmon, 20, and charged him with armed robbery and first-degree assault. Harmon was accused of robbing a Berlin woman at gunpoint on the morning of Nov. 2 near the Bay Terrace Apartment Complex. Harmon was also charged with second-degree assault and theft. Last week in Circuit Court, Harmon pleaded guilty to armed robbery and was sentenced to eight years in jail. All but three years of the sentence were then suspended and Harmon was placed on probation for three years following his release and was fined $500.

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