Band Boosters Head Guilty
SNOW HILL -- The former president of the Pocomoke High School Band Boosters, charged last fall with felony theft and other charges after absconding with thousands of dollars of the organization’s funds, was found guilty this week on multiple counts and now awaits her fate pending the outcome of a pre-sentence investigation.
In October, Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) detectives met with representatives of Pocomoke High and the Worcester County Board of Education regarding a suspected theft. Board members told detectives the president of the Pocomoke Band Boosters, identified as Tracey Whittington Colbert, 39, of Crisfield, had been using the organization’s funds for her own benefit.
The alleged theft was reported to police as soon as the Board of Education was made aware of the crime. The WCBI investigation revealed that between August and October, Colbert allegedly not only forged other booster member’s signatures on checks, but also stole roughly $2,271 from the accounts of the organization. As a result, Colbert was charged with theft from $1,000 to $10,000, forgery and uttering, and theft scheme from $1,000 to $10,000.
This week, Colbert was found guilty of theft from $1,000 to under $10,000, forgery of public documents and issuing a false document and a pre-sentence investigation was ordered. Colbert was found not guilty on five other counts.
Two Years For Witness Threats
SALISBURY -- A Salisbury man already serving a 20-year sentence on a heroin distribution conviction was sentenced to an additional two years this week after attempting to intimidate a witness by threatening her family prior to his original trial last September.
On Monday, a Wicomico County Circuit Court judge sentenced Tyrelle Kimble of Salisbury to an additional two years in the Department of Corrections for attempting to intimidate a state’s witness from testifying against him at trial. Kimble made contact with the state’s witness’s family on two separate occasions leading up to his September 18 trial. On each occasion, Kimble threatened if the witness showed up for trial, “she ain’t gonna see her kids and family.”
Upon receiving the threat, the witness and her family immediately notified the Wicomico State’s Attorney’s Office. After an investigation, Kimble was ultimately served with the additional charges. On Sept. 18, 2011, Kimble was convicted of distribution of heroin and was sentenced to 20 years with six years of the sentence to be served with the Department of Corrections.
On Monday, Kimble was found guilty of obstructing justice by threatening a state’s witness or their family. The judge sentenced Kimble to an additional two years to be served upon completion of the first six years of his heroin distribution sentence.
“Attempts to influence or intimidate a witness strike at the very heart of the judicial process,” the judge said on Monday. “I encourage the State’s Attorney’s Office to continue to look into this type of case and treat them seriously.”
SNOW HILL -- A Berlin man arrested in August on heroin distribution and other charges after allegedly selling the drug to an undercover officer twice had the charges against him “nolle prossed,” or not prosecuted, this week in Circuit Court.
In July, the Worcester County Criminal Enforcement Team began a heroin distribution investigation and identified Tony Lamont Mills, 32, of Berlin, as a suspect. The investigation revealed Mills was allegedly distributing heroin throughout northern Worcester County. As the investigation progressed, an undercover officer was allegedly able conduct to hand-to-hand purchases directly from Mills on two separate occasions, including one transaction during which Mills was holding an infant on his chest.
As a result of the investigation, detectives obtained a search and seizure warrant for Mills’ residence on Elizabeth Street in Berlin. On Aug. 29, the Criminal Enforcement Team, with assistance from the Berlin Police Department SWAT team executed the search warrant on the Berlin residence.
Mills was subsequently apprehended while attempting to hide in a closet. A search revealed 6.8 grams of marijuana and an additional six bags or heroin along with a loaded .32 caliber handgun. The handgun was discovered in the same closet in which Mills attempted to hide. In addition, a total of 28 bags of heroin were discovered during the course of the investigation totaling 2.8 grams.
Mills was prohibited from owning or possessing a handgun as a result of a prior conviction. Additional items of evidentiary value were also seized from the residence. It was also learned Mills was wanted on a parole retake warrant from the Department of Corrections and a violation of probation warrant from the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office. The OCPD narcotics unit assisted in the investigation.
Mills was charged with two counts of distribution of heroin, one count of possession with intent to distribute heroin, three counts of possession of heroin, one count of possession of marijuana and multiple counts related to the possession of the firearm. On Monday, a hearing was heard in Circuit Court and the charges against Mills in this case were dropped.
DUI Suspect Flees Police
BERLIN -- A Berlin man was arrested on drunk-driving and other charges last week after fleeing from police attempting to pull him over.
Around 6:45 p.m. last Friday, a Berlin Police officer attempted to pull over a vehicle in the area of West Street and Buckingham Lane for a traffic violation. The vehicle then attempted to flee and eventually pulled behind a residence on Evans Rd. The officer located the vehicle and its driver, identified as Gerald D. Timmons, Jr., 18, of Berlin.
Timmons was arrested and charged with numerous violations including driving while impaired, fleeing and eluding police and violation of a restricted license.
Five Arrested In Melee
SALISBURY -- Five people were arrested on assault and other charges last weekend after a fight in the parking lot of a restaurant and bar.
Around 2:15 a.m. last Sunday, Salisbury Police responded to Brew River on W. Main Street for a reported fight involving multiple participants in the parking lot. Numerous Salisbury Police officers responded and attempted to disperse the crowd. According to police reports, several suspects were yelling profanities and acting in a disorderly manner.
The combatants were asked to leave the area and those who did not comply were arrested. While police attempted to take suspects into custody, the suspects began resisting and assaulted the officers. One of the suspects struck a police officer in the face with his foot, causing his eyeglasses to break.
Kathryn Jane Robert, 25, of Salisbury; Trever Gregory Purnell, 27, of Salisbury; Melissa Suzanne Degrafft, 26, of Salisbury; and Javon Charles Johnson, 25, of Salisbury, were each charged with second-degree assault, obstructing and hindering, disorderly conduct and failure to obey a lawful order. Johnson was also charged with reckless endangerment and malicious destruction of property. Dionte Lamar Kirkland, 26, of Princess Anne, was charged with obstructing and hindering, disorderly conduct and failure to obey a lawful order.
Pot Bust Suspect Arraigned
SNOW HILL -- A New Jersey man arrested in late December after getting pulled over near Berlin with over 350 pounds of marijuana in his vehicle has been formally indicted and was scheduled to be arraigned this week.
Around 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 30, 2011, a Maryland State Police trooper in an unmarked car with its red and blue lights flashing was stopped on the shoulder along Route 113 just north of Germantown Rd. in Berlin. A Toyota Sienna van driven by Donald P. Gayle, 54, of New Brunswick, N.J. passed the trooper’s unmarked vehicle in the right lane, but failed to move over to the available middle lane in violation of a state law passed last year.
The trooper pulled the vehicle over and when contact was made with Gayle, the officer noticed a number of factors indicating criminal activity might be afoot. A Berlin Police officer in the area stopped to provide backup, while the MSP trooper called for a K-9 team to respond. The K-9 conducted a scan of the vehicle and gave a positive alert for the presence of drugs.
A probable cause search of the van revealed five large nylon bags, each containing three large cellophane-wrapped packages of suspected marijuana. The combined weight of the 15 packaged totaled over 350 pounds. Gayle was charged initially in District Court, but was formally indicted on several charges late last month including possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of a large amount of controlled dangerous substance (CDS) and importing CDS into the state.
Gayle had an initial appearance and was arraigned on Wednesday and the case was moved from District Court to Worcester County Circuit Court. A preliminary trial date has been set for May 6.
18 Months In Heroin Plea
SNOW HILL -- One of two local men arrested last October on numerous drug charges at an often troublesome West Ocean City motel pleaded guilty last week to possession with intent to distribute heroin and was sentenced to seven years, all but 18 months of which was then suspended.
On Oct. 4, members of the Worcester County Criminal Enforcement Team executed a search and seizure warrant at the Rambler Motel on Elm Street in West Ocean City after a heroin distribution investigation. The criminal enforcement team members along with an Ocean City Police Department Narcotics Unit made entry into a unit and located and seized numerous items including 164 individually wrapped bags of heroin, 25 tablets of Alprazolam, three grams of marijuana, various items of paraphernalia and over $700 in cash.
Arrested were Jake L. Docca, 25, of Ocean Pines, and Frank Wray King, 25, of Berlin. Each suspect was charged with possession of heroin, marijuana and Alprazolam, possession with intent to distribute heroin, possession with intent to distribute heroin-large amount, and possession of paraphernalia.
Last week, King pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute heroin and was sentenced to seven years in jail, all but 18 months of which was then suspended. King was also placed on probation for two years upon his release and was fined $500. Meanwhile, Docca is scheduled to appear for trial in April.
Not Guilty In Assault, Robbery
SNOW HILL -- A Berlin man arrested last July on assault and robbery charges after police responded to a 911 call hang-up from a residence in Bishopville was found not guilty last week in Circuit Court.
Last July 5, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Officer responded to a residence in Bishopville after reported 911 hang-up. Upon arrival, deputies met with a victim who reported a suspect later identified as William Randall Lewis, 54, of Berlin, had assaulted her and attempted to steal her purse. The victim told police Lewis had left the scene before their arrival.
A short time later, Lewis was located in Berlin and was arrested by Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies. Lewis was charged with robbery and second-degree assault. Last week in Circuit Court, Lewis pleaded not guilty and was cleared of the charges against him.