Alleged Meth Dealer Busted

OCEAN CITY – Ocean City
police last week made a significant crystal methamphetamine bust after getting
a tip from a citizen approached the suspected dealer.

Around 6:40 p.m. last
Friday, an OCPD officer on bike patrol in the area of 13th Street
was approached by a citizen who told police a male had just tried to sell the
witness crystal meth. After obtaining a description from the witness, OCPD
officers were able to track down the suspect, later identified as Shawn Michael
Tobin, 24, of Minersville, Pa.

Tobin was found to be in
possession of 31 individual bags of a white, crystal-like substance believed to
by crystal methamphetamine. During the on-scene investigation and subsequent
search, Tobin allegedly became “violently combative,” according to police
reports and had to be subdued by OCPD officers.

Tobin has been charged
with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of CDS with
intent to distribute, possession of paraphernalia and resisting arrest. He was
released after posting a $50,000 bond.

Vending Machine Burglars

OCEAN CITY – An alert
citizen this week helped resort police nab a pair of vending machine burglars
in Ocean City.

Around 6 a.m. on
Tuesday, an alert citizen flagged down an OCPD officer to report suspicious
activity involving an individual near the Garden of Eden miniature golf course
on 18th Street. The witness told police the suspect was attempting
to break into a vending machine using a large pry bar.

As a result of
information obtained from the witness, OCPD officers began to search for the
individuals and the vehicle involved in the theft from the vending machine.
About an hour later, OCPD officers located a vehicle matching the description
provided by the witness. Resort police stopped the Chevy Venture mini-van and
questioned the suspects, identified as Scott Michael Dease, 45, of West Lawn,
Pa., and Billi Sue Holmes, 40, of Sinking Spring, Pa.

A search of the van
turned up a pry bar and a large amount of U.S. currency in $1 bills. The
witness was brought over and identified Dease and Holmes as the suspects in the
attempted Garden of Eden vending machine burglary. Each of the suspects was
charged with various counts of burglary, theft, malicious destruction of
property, attempted theft, possession of CDS and possession of paraphernalia.
Holmes was also charged with possession of a concealed deadly weapon.

OCPD detectives are
continuing to investigate the case, which may be connected to additional
vending machine thefts in the Ocean City area. Anyone with additional
information is urged to contact the OCPD criminal investigation division at

Lewd And Indecent In WOC

Whaleyville man was arrested for disorderly conduct after performing “lewd and
indecent” acts in a West Ocean City department store last week.

Around 2:15 p.m. last
Thursday, Maryland State Police troopers responded to the Marshall’s department
store in West Ocean City for a report of an individual performing disturbing
acts inside the store. The troopers located the suspect, later identified as
Jeffrey Whitman, 27, of Whaleyville, and detained him.

Witness statements
confirmed Whitman was performing lewd and indecent acts while inside the store.
At a later interview at the MSP Berlin barrack, Whitman admitted to the acts at
Marshall’s in West Ocean City and revealed he had committed similar acts at the
Ross Department Store in Salisbury. An investigation confirmed a similar
incident had been reported at the department store in Salisbury a week earlier.

Whitman was arrested and
charged with disorderly conduct and was taken before a District Court
Commissioner and ordered held on a $5,000 bond. The Salisbury Police Department
was contacted and all of the MSP information on the case there was forwarded
for a follow-up investigation. The information is being shared with all allied
law enforcement agencies for similar unsolved incidents.

Highway Robbery

BERLIN – A Berlin man
was arrested on first-degree robbery and assault charges last week after allegedly
robbing a man in a vehicle in which he was traveling.

Around 11 p.m. last
Friday, Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a reported robbery in
a vehicle on Route 50 near the Glen Riddle community. Upon arrival at the
scene, deputies met with a victim, who told them he was riding in a vehicle
with two other individuals who demanded his money, cell phone and keys.

Based on the
investigation, the sheriff’s deputies were able to identify one of the suspects
as Robert William Merryman, 22, of Berlin. Merryman was arrested a short time
later and charged with first-degree robbery and first- and second-degree
assault. He appeared in District Court for a bail review on Monday and was
ordered held on a $95,000 bond.

Kidnapping Report

Leads To Drug Arrest

BERLIN – A Berlin man
was arrested on drug charges last week after it was falsely reported he had
kidnapped a girl and was holding her at gunpoint in his vehicle along Route 50.

Shortly before 3:30 a.m.
last Monday, the Worcester County 911 dispatch center received a call in
reference to a person being held against her will in a vehicle in the area of
westbound Route 50 near Holly Grove Rd. Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies
responded to the scene and attempted to locate the vehicle. While en route, the
deputies got an update that the caller was traveling in a vehicle behind the
suspect’s vehicle, and that the caller’s daughter had been kidnapped and was
being held at gunpoint in the vehicle.

Meanwhile, a Berlin
Police officer observed the suspect’s vehicle at Friendship Rd. off of Route
50, and with the help of the pursuing sheriff’s deputies initiated a traffic
stop. The male driver, identified as Walter Shane Ahrens, 22, of Berlin, was
removed from the vehicle. It was determined the female victim had neither been
held against her will, nor had she been kidnapped.

However, a subsequent
search of the vehicle turned up controlled dangerous substance as well as
paraphernalia. Ahrens was subsequently arrested for possession of CDS and was
later released pending trial.

“Loaded” Driver Busted
With Weed

BERLIN – A Fruitland man
pulled over for a routine traffic stop last week allegedly admitted to police
he was “loaded” before being found with marijuana and paraphernalia on his

Shortly after 2 a.m.
last Thursday, a Maryland State Police trooper stopped a vehicle on westbound
Route 90 near Route 50 for a traffic violation. Upon making contact with the
driver, later identified as Andrew Scott Epifanio, 30, the trooper noticed the
suspect making quick movements with his right hand, but could not detect what
the suspect was doing. The trooper also detected an odor of burnt marijuana
coming from the vehicle.

Based on the
investigation, the trooper asked Epifanio to step out of the vehicle. Once he
was moved around to the rear of the vehicle for further questioning, Epifanio
allegedly advised the trooper “he was loaded,” according to police reports. A
pat down of the suspect revealed a wooden container containing marijuana and a
silver metal smoking device. Epifanio was arrested and charged with possession
of marijuana.

Sprinklers Save
Apartment Complex

SNOW HILL – No injuries
were reported last week after a child playing with a lighter set fire to a unit
in a Snow Hill apartment complex saved by the facility’s sprinkler system.

Around 11:40 p.m. last
Thursday, the Snow Hill Fire Department was dispatched to a reported fire at
the Greenbriar apartment complex for a reported fire with water flow activation
in one of the units. First arriving units discovered the apartment filled with
smoke and reported all of its occupants had escaped safely.

Upon further
investigation, fire crews located a small fire in a bathroom that had been
extinguished by the residential sprinkler system. At the time of the fire, one
adult and two children occupied the apartment. The Worcester County Fire
Marshal’s Office investigated and determined the fire was set by a child
playing with a lighter in the bathroom.

No injuries were
reported and fire department crews remained on scene for about an hour to
assist with cleanup. Anyone with additional information or questions is urged
to call the Fire Marshal’s Office at 410-632-5666.

Stop Leads To Pot Bust

BERLIN – Two individuals
were arrested on marijuana possession charges this week while waiting for a
ride after the person they were riding with was arrested for drunk driving.

Around 3:15 a.m. on
Tuesday, a Maryland State Police trooper pulled over a vehicle on westbound
Route 50 near Route 113 for a traffic violation. When the trooper made contact
with the driver, identified as Matthew Michael Fitzgerald, the officer detected
an odor of alcoholic beverage coming from the vehicle.

Fitzgerald was
administered field sobriety tests, which he failed to complete to the trooper’s
satisfaction, and was arrested under suspicion of driving under the influence.
Meanwhile, a second trooper remained at the scene with the passengers,
identified as Dominic Royal Gilbert, 19, and Zachary Crist Lipscomb, 20, both
of Centreville, while they tried to obtain a ride.

While Gilbert and
Lipscomb were retrieving items from Fitzgerald’s vehicle, the trooper noticed a
plastic bag of suspected marijuana on the rear floorboard on the passenger’s
side. The trooper also discovered a wooden smoking device on the front
passenger’s seat. Gilbert and Lipscomb were subsequently arrested for
possession of marijuana and paraphernalia.

Jail Time for Assault

SNOW HILL – A West Ocean
City man arrested in June on assault and false imprisonment charges after
allegedly binding and gagging his live-in girlfriend was found guilty of
second-degree assault this week in District Court and was sentenced to four
years in jail.

Around 5 a.m. on June 3,
Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a residence on Old
Bridge Rd. in West Ocean City for a reported domestic disturbance. Immediately
upon arrival on the scene, the deputy observed a female victim run from the
residence partially clothed with a gag in her mouth and her hands bound behind
her back.

Detectives from the Worcester
County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) arrived and determined through further
investigation the victim’s live-in boyfriend, identified as John Eric Shelton,
49, of West Ocean City, was allegedly responsible for the attack. Shelton was
arrested and charged with second-degree assault and reckless endangerment.

This week in District
Court, Shelton was found guilty of second-degree assault and was sentenced to
four years in jail, 30 days of which was then suspended. He was also fined $300
and placed on probation until 2015.

Mr. President Retires

this week announced the retirement of longtime Mounted Unit horse Mr.
President, who has been a fixture in the resort for the last 17 years.

Mr. President, now 23
years old, officially retired last Thursday, July 15, after serving the OCPD
since 1994. Known for his speed and durability, Mr. President routinely
patrolled the south end of Ocean City including the Boardwalk, where he was
involved in dozens of incidents over the years. In addition to his routine
patrol duties, Mr. President was involved in several arrests, crowd control
incidents, crime prevention events and search and rescue incidents.

According to the OCPD,
the horse’s devotion to the town of Ocean City has been demonstrated through
his hard work and participation at hundreds of public events and functions. In
addition to his official police work, Mr. President became an ambassador of
sorts for the town over the years and a favorite of residents and visitors,
especially children.

Along with his on-duty
work, Mr. President was also an asset to the OCPD in an off-duty capacity. As
the senior horse in the OCPD stable, he was often tasked with training duties
involving new riders as well as new horses. After a successful career and years
of dedication, Mr. President will retire from the force.

He will continue to
reside at the farm with the other police horses and will be under the
supervision of retired OCPD officer and longtime rider Corp. Ray Land.
According to the OCPD, not only will Mr. President be missed by his colleagues
at the department, but he will be missed by the visitors and citizens which he
served since 1994, the OCPD said.

Burn Ban Lifted

BERLIN – The outdoor
burn ban implemented in Worcester County in early July after a prolonged period
of extremely hot, dry weather was lifted this week after conditions have abated

The Worcester County
Fire Marshal’s Office last Friday cancelled the ban on outdoor burning that had
been in place since July 7. Although the extreme conditions responsible for the
burn ban in the first place have eased up somewhat, Fire Marshal Jeff McMahon
this week cautioned residents and visitors the drought conditions continue and
the fire danger level is still high.

McMahon urged all
citizens who conduct outdoor burnings, regardless of the type, that the law
requires all fires to be constantly attended from ignition to extinguishments.
Several precautions are required including having the proper tools and an ample
water supply available.

“Although there was a
significant amount of rainfall during the previous week, the amount varied
depending on the area of the county,” said McMahon. “A continued or similar dry
weather pattern would force the burning ban to return.”