OCEAN CITY — Two Virginia individuals were arrested on multiple drug charges this week after a traffic stop in Ocean City early Monday morning.
Around 2 a.m. on Monday, Ocean City Police stopped a vehicle in the area of Coastal Highway and 85th Street after observing it swerving in and out of traffic on the northbound lanes. As the officer approached, an odor of marijuana was detected emanating from inside the vehicle.
During a search, OCPD officers located six packages of heroin along with items typically used for packaging and distributing drugs. OCPD officers also located 10 prescription pills. The driver, identified as Hannah Knoll Norris, 24, of Fairfax, Va., and the passenger, identified as Scott Edward Kahler, 25, of Falls Church, Va., were arrested and charged with possession and possession with intent to distribute marijuana, removing the label of a prescription drug, transporting heroin into Maryland and six counts of possession of paraphernalia. Each was taken before a District Court Commissioner and then transferred to the Worcester County Jail on $10,000 bonds.
Traffic Stop Yields Weapons
OCEAN CITY — Two Virginia men were arrested on multiple weapons charges Thursday afternoon after a routine traffic stop in Ocean City yielded the discovery of loaded guns, several knives and even a tomahawk.
Around 2 p.m. on Thursday, an OCPD officer working patrol in the downtown area stopped a vehicle near 3rd Street and Baltimore Ave. for a seatbelt violation. While approaching the vehicle, the officer observed numerous used shotgun shell casings throughout the inside of the vehicle and a large folding knife attached to the driver’s pocket. In addition, the smell of burnt marijuana also emanated from inside the vehicle.
The officer spoke to the driver, later identified as Charles Michael Reynolds, 22, of Bristow, Va., who told police there was a loaded semi-automatic .45 caliber handgun in the vehicle and that he did not have a handgun permit for the state of Maryland. The officer then requested Reynolds and the passenger, identified as Ryan Zachary Pritchard, 21, also of Bristow, exit the vehicle to allow police to search it.
During the search, officers located the loaded hand gun Reynolds had mentioned, along with loaded magazines, two other large fixed-blade knives and metal throwing tomahawk. Reynolds and Pritchard were charged with two counts each of possession of a concealed deadly weapon, two counts of possession of a handgun in a vehicle and possession of a handgun on one’s person.
Child Porn Arrest
BERLIN — A Newark man was arrested on multiple counts of promoting and distributing child pornography after a months-long investigation culminated with an arrest at his residence on Monday.
On Monday, members of the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI), along with the federal Department of Homeland Security, the Maryland State Police Computer Crimes Unit and the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office executed a search and seizure warrant on a residence on Route 113 in Newark. The search warrant was executed after a months-long investigation revealed someone inside the residence was downloading and sharing pictures and videos of child pornography.
Inside the residence, investigators located numerous items found to contain hundreds of images of child pornography. Detectives interviewed the occupants of the residence, who pointed to Jason Gregory Root, 36, of Newark, as the person responsible for downloading and sharing the images. Root was arrested and charged with six counts of promoting and distributing child pornography and five counts of possession of child porn. He was taken before a District Court Commissioner and was later released on a $10,000 bond.
Jail For Boardwalk Fighter
SNOW HILL — A Clinton, Md. man who had to be subdued with a taser in June after a fight on the Boardwalk resulted in a large crowd threatening and taunting Ocean City Police officers was found guilty on numerous charges last week in Circuit Court and was sentenced to a net 90 days in jail.
Around 1 a.m. on June 9, uniformed OCPD officers were on bike patrol in the area of 5th Street and the Boardwalk when they observed two male suspects pushing and arguing with each other, which caused a large crowd to gather. OCPD officers attempted to separate the two suspects, but one of them, later identified as Joseph Tyrice Cromartie, 20, of Clinton, Md., became combative and assaulted the officers.
One of the OCPD officers used his Electronic Control Device, or Taser, to subdue Cromartie, who was eventually arrested. By the time Cromartie was taken into custody, the large crowd that had gathered at the scene began acting in an aggressive and disorderly manner and taunted and made threatening statements to the officers.
Additional officers responded to the scene, including K-9 and mounted patrols, Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputies and Maryland State Police troopers. The crowd was then quickly dispersed and order was restored to the area. Per OCPD policy, Cromartie was transported by Ocean City EMS to Atlantic General for an examination following the use of the ECD, or taser, and he was released shortly thereafter with no injuries.
Last week in Circuit Court, Cromartie was found guilty of two counts of second-degree assault, for which he was sentenced to 90 days. He was also found guilty of resisting arrest and was sentenced to an additional 90 days. Cromartie was sentenced to 60 days for disorderly conduct and 60 days for failure to obey a lawful order. However, all of the individual sentences will be served concurrently, resulting in a 90-day sentence. He was also fined $500.
Heroin Dealer Convicted
SALISBURY — Keith Barkley was found guilty by a Wicomico County jury of possession with intent to distribute heroin after being found earlier this year with 53 individual bags of heroin in his pocket.
Bark;ey was sentenced by the court to 20 years of incarceration. Barkley’s previous guilty findings include eight convictions for indecent exposure, two theft convictions, one child abuse conviction and one conviction for Breaking and Entering.
On the evening of March 21, 2013, Barkley approached an undercover law enforcement officer and agreed to pay $20 in exchange for a sexual encounter. Barkley was subsequently arrested and a search incident to arrest produced the individually packaged plastic bags of heroin indicative of the intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance.
OCPD Horse Retires
OCEAN CITY — The Ocean City Police is bidding farewell to one of its cherished mounted patrol horses.
“Goodnight” a four-year veteran police horse, was officially retired last month. In 2011, Goodnight was diagnosed with Lyme disease. Goodnight underwent treatment for the infection and was cured, but the effects of the disease left him with a diminished capacity for his police duties and as a result the OCPD has opted to retire him. Goodnight came to the OCPD in 2011 at the age of seven. During his service with the department, he has had one primary rider. Goodnight has been involved in numerous arrests, several hundred enforcement actions and participated in special details including the car cruises, Delmarva Bike Week and Winterfest of Lights as well as the annual parades and festivals that Ocean City hosts. During his career, Goodnight has assisted other agencies including Pocomoke City Police, Maryland State Police and the Worcester and Wicomico County Sheriff’s Departments with crowd control functions as well as search and recovery details. Goodnight has also served as the lead horse to train new police horses and new mounted officers. Goodnight retires at the age 11 and will be spending his retirement on a farm in Western Maryland. He is in good health and spirit, and is enjoying the company of his new family. The OCPD has begun to search to select a suitable replacement.