SNOW HILL — A Snow Hill man, arrested in April on first-degree assault and other charges after threatening his girlfriend and another woman while holding a handgun at an Ocean City apartment, pleaded guilty last week and was sentenced to three years, all but 18 months of which was then suspended.
Around 8:15 p.m. on April 29, Ocean City Police responded to a residence on 32nd Street for a reported suspect making threats while in possession of a handgun. Upon arrival, OCPD officers quickly located and detained the suspect, identified as Ralph Andrew McCabe, 23, of Snow Hill.
The investigation revealed McCabe allegedly became irate with his girlfriend and another female and began destroying his girlfriend’s belongings. McCabe then began threatening the two females while holding a handgun. During the subsequent investigation, officers located the handgun along with other evidence related to recent burglaries.
McCabe was taken into custody and charged with multiple counts of assault, burglary and malicious destruction of property. Last week, he pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and was sentenced to two years with one suspended. He also pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary and was sentenced to three years with all but 18 months suspended. McCabe was also placed on probation for three years upon his release and was fined $500.
First Of Three Guilty
In Bus Driver Attack
SNOW HILL — The first of three suspects indicted by a Worcester grand jury in August for their roles in the June 14 attack on an Ocean City municipal driver went to trial last week and now awaits his fate pending the outcome of a pre-sentence investigation.
Josiah Mincer III, 23, of York, Pa. last week entered an Alford plea to robbery for his role in the bus driver attack and robbery and a pre-sentence investigation was ordered. Sentencing has been set for Dec. 17. In an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt, but acknowledges the state has enough evidence to prosecute. Mincer’s co-defendants in the case have not yet gone to trial. Marquez Ellis, 19, of York, is scheduled to go to trial on Dec. 9, while Jaleel Henderson, 18, also of York, is scheduled to appear for trial on Dec. 2.
Around 1 a.m. on June 14, the three suspects allegedly got into a verbal altercation with a municipal bus driver after passengers were picked up along Baltimore Ave. near Worcester Street. According to sources, the dispute began when the suspects did not have exact change and the bus driver informed them they could not ride without the exact $3 fare per passenger.
A short time later, Ocean City Communications informed OCPD officers in the area an assault had occurred on a municipal bus. OCPD officer arrived on the scene and observed three suspects believed to be Ellis, Mincer and Henderson running from the bus. Numerous witnesses and bystanders pointed at the three suspects running from the scene, according to police reports.
Ocean City EMS arrived on the scene and began treatment on the injured bus driver, who had cuts on his face and head and a large amount of bleeding. The responding officer reported the injuries sustained by the bus driver were the results of one of the suspects striking the victim with an unidentified weapon. According to police reports, the driver as very disoriented and had to be taken by ambulance to AGH and at one point had trouble breathing. The driver was released from the hospital later the following morning.
Meanwhile, the responding OCPD officers observed one of the suspects, later identified as Ellis running through the property of the Atlantic Hotel. Ellis reportedly ran through a narrow passageway and through the property pursued by OCPD officers, who on several occasions ordered him to stop and go to the ground. Ellis failed to comply and sprinted west through the Somerset Street Plaza. The officer observed 40-60 people in and around the Somerset Street Plaza stop and look at Ellis with looks of disgust on their faces, according to police reports. Most in the area stopped and remained motionless and continued to point at the suspect.
OCPD officers at one point observed the two other suspects, presumably Mincer and Henderson, running with Ellis before splitting up and going in different directions. Ellis continued to run north on Baltimore Ave. with police in pursuit ordering him to stop and get on the ground. At one point, Ellis ran through traffic on Baltimore Ave. and several vehicles pulled over and stopped to avoid hitting him. Finally, in the area of Dorchester Street, Ellis finally went to his knees and gave up. Ellis was taken into custody and in his possession was found a single dollar bill and a bus ticket believed to have been stolen during the assault on the driver.
Ice Cream Truck Theft Probed
SALISBURY — A Salisbury Police investigation into the theft of money from an ice cream vending truck is ongoing although a suspect has been identified.
Around 5:50 p.m. on Sunday, Salisbury Police met in the lobby of the police department with the victim of a theft. The investigation revealed the victim has been operating the Coneheads Ice Cream vending truck in the area of Delaware Ave. and Main Street when a suspect stole an undisclosed amount of money from the cash bucket.
The victim had allowed the adult male suspect to enter the ice cream truck and travel around him while he conducted sales. When the victim was distracted, the suspect allegedly grabbed the bucket containing the cash and attempted to flee the ice cream truck.
The victim attempted to retrieve the cash bucket and a struggle ensued. The suspect removed the currency from the bucket and fled from the ice cream truck. The victim then followed the suspect in the ice cream truck and eventually convinced him to come back on board the vehicle. The victim the drove the ice cream truck to the Salisbury Police headquarters to report the theft with the suspect still on board.
When the suspect realized the ice cream vendor had pulled into the police department parking lot, he again fled the vehicle on foot. Salisbury Police were able to locate and identify the suspect a short time later, although the investigation is ongoing and the suspect has not yet been identified.
Untaxed Cigarette Bust
BERLIN — A New York man was arrested for transporting untaxed cigarettes after a traffic stop in Berlin on Monday.
Around 7 p.m. on Monday, a Maryland State Police trooper stopped a vehicle on northbound Route 113 at Germantown Rd. for excessive speeding. The driver was identified as Baleek Thabet, 22, of Corona, N.Y. During the traffic stop, numerous cartons of cigarettes were observed in the vehicle.
A subsequent search revealed 513 cartons of untaxed cigarettes in the vehicle. The retail value of the cigarettes was $33,080 with a tax loss to the state of Maryland of $10,260. Thabet was arrested for the transportation of untaxed cigarettes and transported to MSP barrack in Berlin for processing. The Maryland State Comptroller’s Office was contacted and responded to assist with the case.
Cigarette Smuggling Fine
SNOW HILL — A handful of defendants arrested in April for the illegal transportation of untaxed cigarettes during a Maryland Comptroller’s Office sting operation in Worcester appeared in court this week for trials and each received suspended jail time sentences but were hit with exorbitant fines.
Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot in April announced his Field Enforcement Division arrested three men from New York and a fourth from New Jersey during a sting operation in Worcester County carried out from April 15-18. The suspects are accused of bringing loads of unstamped, untaxed cigarettes from Virginia into Maryland. During the sting operation, agents seized a total of 24,750 packs of contraband cigarettes and three vehicles. The seized cigarettes were valued at more than $159,000.
“Cigarette smuggling not only takes revenue out of state coffers, but also makes cigarettes easily accessible to young people,” said Franchot last week. “I am delighted my agents made these arrests and will prosecute the smugglers to the fullest extent of the law.”
Each suspect was charged with willful transportation of unstamped cigarettes, a felony that carries a mandatory fine of $150 for each carton and a possible sentence of up to two years. Each was also charged with willful possession, sale or offer to sell unstamped cigarettes, a misdemeanor that carries a penalty of up to a $1,000 fine and a year in jail.
Among those arrested was Hassan Ali Ghamlouch, 27, of Jersey City, N.J. On April 15, agents seized 6,680 packs of contraband cigarettes and a 2011 GMC Denali during a stop on Route 13 in Pocomoke. The confiscated cigarettes were worth $43,086. On Tuesday, Ghamlouch was sentenced to 30 days in jail, all of which was suspended. He was placed on probation for two years and fined $100,300, all but $5,000 of which was suspended.
Also arrested during the sting was Mohammed Ali Mohsin Elroubat, 21, of Brooklyn, N.Y. On April 18, agents seized 4,480 packs of cigarettes and a 2013 Volkswagen Passat during a traffic stop at Routes 12 and 113 in Snow Hill. On Tuesday, Elroubat was sentenced to 15 days, which was suspended. He was placed on probation for two years and fined $67,200, of which $63,700 was suspended.
In a single stop on April 18, comptroller’s agents seized 13,590 packs of unstamped cigarettes along with a 2012 Honda minivan during a stop on Route 13 in Pocomoke. Arrested during that stop were Haisheng Sun, 30, and Lan Kun, 30, both of Flushing, N.Y. On Tuesday, Sun was sentenced to 15 days, which was suspended. He was placed on probation for two years and fined $203,850, all but $10,400 of which was suspended.