Public Landing Weed Bust

Social Issues & Government

SNOW HILL — A Virginia man was arrested on marijuana possession charges last week after a Worcester County Sheriff’s deputy found him and others in a vehicle at the boat ramp in Public Landing after dark.

Around 9:15 p.m. last Tuesday, a Worcester County Sheriff’s deputy was conducting a premise check at the public boat ramp in Public Landing and observed an occupied vehicle at the facility long after it had closed. The deputy made contact with the occupants to advise the boat ramp was closed after dark and detected a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle.

The deputy searched the vehicle and found over 32 grams of marijuana in the possession of the rear seat passenger, identified as Kyle Satterfield, 26, of Horntown, Va. The deputy also seized a glass smoking pipe, a metal grinder and rolling papers. Satterfield was arrested for possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia. He was taken before a District Court Commissioner and was released on recognizance pending trial.


Wal-Mart Thefts

BERLIN — Three individuals were arrested on theft and theft scheme charges last week after getting caught with merchandise stolen from the Wal-Mart in Berlin.

Around 3:20 p.m. last Tuesday, Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the Wal-Mart on Route 50 for a reported theft. When deputies arrived, they learned the three suspects had fled the area in a vehicle. A description of the vehicle was broadcast and the vehicle with the suspects inside was stopped by Ocean Pines Police.

All of the stolen merchandize was recovered and returned to Wal-Mart. After reading the suspects their Miranda rights, each submitted written confessions. Jeffrey Moulds, 44, of Selbyville, was charged with theft less than $1,000 and theft scheme less than $1,000 and was released on a $5,000 bond. Jessica Curtis, 25, of Stockton, received the same charges and was held on a $3,000 bond. Kelly Brenan, 22, of Dagsboro, was charged with theft and theft scheme and also possession of CDS and paraphernalia and was held on a $5,000 bond.


Whaleyville Fire

WHALEYVILLE — Multiple companies from all over northern Worcester County and southern Sussex responded to a significant structure fire in Whaleyville last Friday.

Around 12:40 p.m. last Friday, the Showell, Bishopville and Selbyville Volunteer Fire Companies were alerted for a reported structure fire on Whaleyville Rd. First arrivers observed a single-story detached garage with fire extending from the north end of the structure.

Due to the quantity of fire, additional resources were requested from Ocean Pines, Berlin, Pittsville and Willards. The fire was extinguished and contained to the building of origin. The property owners were home at the time of the fire but no injuries were reported. The building and its contents were deemed a total loss. The cause of the fire has been listed as undetermined and the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Chief Deputy Matt Owens at 410-632-5666.


Five-Year Sentence

For Jail Assault

SALISBURY — A Wicomico County jury this week found a Salisbury man guilty of assaulting a corrections officer stemming from an incident in the jail early this year, resulting in five years added to his current sentence.

On Monday, a Wicomico County jury found Nicholas Stuetz, 25, of Salisbury, guilty of assaulting a County Detention Center officer during an incident back on February 10. Stuetz was serving the unsuspended 18-month portion of his 10-year sentence for conspiring to commit robbery in a separate case.

During the incident last February, Stuetz was asked to surrender a plastic storage tub from his jail cell. The plastic containers were determined to be a threat to corrections officers and other inmates because they were being broken apart and the pieces sharpened into weapons. Stuetz became angry and threw his plastic tub at the correctional officer’s face and struck the officer in the chin and chest, causing injuries.

On Monday, a jury found Stuetz guilty of assaulting a correctional officer and he was sentenced to an additional five years in jail. The sentence is to be served consecutively to any and all other sentences against Stuetz. Wicomico County State’s Attorney Matt Maciarello praised correctional officers for performind a difficult and dangerous job each day.

“We cannot tolerate assaults upon correctional officers,” he said. “If inmates cannot follow the laws of our state and the rules of our detention center, we will advocate that they be sent to the Division of Corrections. This is a policy that aims to keep our local detention center orderly and safe.”


Salisbury Police Begin

Taser Pilot Program

SALISBURY — The Salisbury Police Department last week announced it is beginning a pilot program for the use of Tasers by its officers.

Salisbury Police announced they have begun the pilot program to evaluate the use of Tasers by their officers. The deployment of Tasers comes after extensive research, training and support from the Mayor and City Council. The Salisbury Police Department now joins the group of other law enforcement agencies across the Eastern Shore that utilize Tasers, including Ocean City.

Studies have shown the use of Tasers may deter violent behavior and reduce injuries to both officers and suspects. Officers are required to complete a certified training course prior to receiving a Taser. SPD officers will be issued a Taser that includes video and audio recording equipment whenever the Taser is used. The SPD will monitor the use of Tasers for one year during the pilot program and report back to the Mayor and Council on whether the tool is a good fit for the officers and community members.


Suspended Sentence

In Handgun Case

BERLIN — A Salisbury man, arrested on handgun and marijuana possession charges in March after a Maryland State Police trooper assisting him and others on westbound Route 90 found a revolver in the vehicle, pleaded guilty last week and was sentenced to six months, all of which was suspended in favor of probation and a fine.

Around 4:15 a.m. on March 16, a Maryland State Police trooper was on patrol when she observed three individuals standing partially in the roadway attempting to put gas in a mini-van. The trooper stopped to assist the individuals with their disabled vehicle and instructed them to return to their vehicle for safety.

The trooper then observed a revolver-like cylinder in the vehicle later identified as a marijuana grinder. The individuals were ordered out of the vehicle and a probable cause search was conducted. During the search, the trooper located a loaded .38 caliber Rossi revolver that was concealed in a small black bag behind the driver’s seat.

The trooper questioned the individuals, including Tavern Parker, 27, of Salisbury, who advised the gun belonged to his mother. A criminal history check on Parker revealed he was prohibited from possessing a regulated firearm. Parker was arrested and charged with knowing possessing a regulated firearm after being convicted of a disqualifying crime, possessing ammunition after being disqualified, knowingly wearing, carrying or transporting a firearm in a vehicle, possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia.

Last week in Circuit Court, Parker pleaded guilty to wearing or carrying a handgun in a vehicle on a public road and possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana. He was sentenced to six months in jail, all of which was suspended. He was then placed on probation for 18 months and fined $500.


Sentence In Fed Drug Case

SALISBURY — A Salisbury man was sentenced this week in federal court to 11 years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine and possession with intent to distribute cocaine after a joint local and federal investigation connected him and others to the distribution ring.

U.S. District Court Judge George Hazel on Tuesday sentenced David Wayne Nelson, 32, of Salisbury, to 11 years in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release for his role in a cocaine distribution ring uncovered during the summer of 2013. A second suspect, Royce Levi Brown, 31, of Mardela Springs, previously pleaded guilty for his role in the conspiracy and awaiting sentencing.

According to their plea agreements, from July to August 2013, Nelson and Brown conspired with others to distribute cocaine throughout the Lower Shore. During the investigation, the DEA and the Wicomico County Narcotics Task Force initiated wire taps on cell phones belonging to Brown and executed search warrants at multiple locations including residences associated with Nelson and Brown. Law enforcement officers overheard and observed Nelson engage in drug transactions with Brown.

For example, on July 30, 2013, law enforcement overheard conversations during which Nelson agreed to buy one kilogram of cocaine from Brown. Brown delivered the cocaine to Nelson at his residence. On August 13, 2013, law enforcement overheard Nelson arrange to purchase a half a kilogram of cocaine from Brown for $21,000.

On Tuesday, U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod Rosenstein announced Nelson’s plea agreement and sentence. Rosenstein thanked the Wicomico County Task Force, which includes the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office, the Salisbury Police Department, the Fruitland Police Department and the Wicomico County State’s Attorney’s Office.


Resort Auxiliary

Officers Retire

OCEAN CITY — The Ocean City Police Department last week announced the retirement of a husband and wife duo who are resigning from the OCPD Auxiliary Unit after a combined 11 years of service.

OCPD Auxiliary Unit Officers Donald and Wanda Olson served as volunteers for 11 years and contributed a combined total of over 5,000 hours to the department and the citizens of Ocean City. Over the years, the Olsons were often seen conducting traffic details or assisting at many other special events along with other contributions throughout the year. The Olsons will be greatly missed by the department and the entire community as they retire to be closer to their family in western Maryland, according to a statement from the OCPD.






Assault Sentencing

SNOW HILL — A Bishopville man, who pleaded guilty in August to second-degree assault and other charges after an incident last February during which he fired multiple shots from a handgun and threatened to kill a female acquaintance during a domestic dispute, was sentenced last week in Worcester County Circuit Court to seven years in jail. On Feb. 19, the … Continue reading

Jail Time For Gun Assault

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 … Continue reading

Fake Cop Assault

SALISBURY — Local law enforcement officials this week are reminding motorists to use caution when encountered by “police officers” after a woman was attacked by a suspect acting as a cop on the Salisbury bypass earlier this month. Around 11:40 a.m. on Oct. 1, Maryland State Police troopers responded to a reported assault that had occurred on the Salisbury Bypass. … Continue reading

Theft Scheme Arrests

OCEAN CITY — Two local men were arrested last week on burglary charges after Ocean City police were able to connect them to a series of thefts of building materials and scrap metal over a period of about five days late last month. The OCPD Criminal Investigation Division concluded an investigation into the theft of building materials and scrap metal … Continue reading

Weed Dealing Alleged

OCEAN CITY — Ocean City Police narcotics detectives last week arrested two suspects on suspicion of dealing marijuana after a three-week drug distribution investigation. Around 4 p.m. on Sept. 12, OCPD narcotics detectives, assisted by the Special Enforcement Unit and the Patrol Division, concluded the three-week distribution investigation with the arrests of Blair D. Smith, 22, of no fixed address, … Continue reading

Gym Thief Sought

WEST OCEAN CITY — Worcester County police this week are seeking the public’s help in identifying the suspects wanted in connection with a theft from a West Ocean City gym’s ladies’ locker room and subsequent use of a bank card at a nearby bank. On Aug. 25, Maryland State Police troopers responded to the Powerhouse Gym in West Ocean City … Continue reading