Cops & Courts

Search Nets Drug Arrests

BERLIN – Two local men were arrested on multiple drug charges last week after Berlin Police observed them hanging around an apartment complex.

Around 4:40 p.m. last Friday, Berlin Police responded to the Bay Terrace Apartments to investigate a reported drug distribution complaint. While on the scene, Berlin Police observed two suspects arrive in a gold Acura. The officers knew the passenger in the vehicle, Jerrell Lamont Harmon, 26, of Snow Hill, had been barred from the property.

Police approached Harmon and the driver, identified as Garry Bicille Waples, 54, of Berlin, and placed Harmon under arrest for trespassing. During the arrest, a Worcester County Sheriff’s K-9 unit arrived and conducted a scan of the vehicle, resulting in a positive alert for the presence of controlled dangerous substances.

A search of the vehicle turned up three varieties of oxycodone pills, clonazepam pills, crack cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy pills and paraphernalia. Waples and Harmon were both charged with seven counts each of possession, possession with intent to distribute and possession of paraphernalia. Each was ordered held on a $75,000 bond.

Warrant Leads To Crack Bust

BERLIN – A Selbyville man was arrested on crack cocaine possession charges last weekend after a Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) officer found him sitting in a truck on the side of the road in northern Worcester County.

Around 1:20 a.m. last Saturday, an NRP officer on patrol stopped to check on the occupant of a vehicle parked along the side of Willard’s Bypass Rd. The officer made contact with the driver, identified as Adam Ray Shaulis, 46, of Selbyville, and determined he was wanted on an outstanding warrant in Worcester County.

During the arrest, NRP officers discovered numerous items used to smoke crack cocaine that contained suspect crack cocaine residue. Shaulis was arrested and taken before the District Court Commissioner in Snow Hill, where he was ordered held on an $8,000 bond for the outstanding warrant and a $5,000 for drug charges related to the discovery of the crack cocaine and paraphernalia. He is scheduled to appear in District Court for trial on February 18.

Meth Hiding In Hat

BERLIN – A Pocomoke man was arrested on drug distribution charges last week after police found a large volume of methadone pills hidden in his hat.

Around 1:15 a.m. last Thursday, a Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputy investigated a suspicious vehicle at an apartment complex in Pocomoke. The deputy interviewed the vehicle’s occupants and discovered one of them, Terry Waters, 50, was wanted on a parole retake warrant through the Maryland Parole Commission.

Waters was arrested and during a search incident to the arrest, a large amount of methadone pills, in a quantity to suggest intent to distribute, was found hidden in the hat he was wearing. Waters was taken into custody on the parole retake warrant and was also charged with possession of methadone with intent to distribute.

Theft Scheme Suspect Convicted

SNOW HILL – One of two suspects arrested this summer in connection to a month-long auto theft scheme in Worcester County dating back to May pleaded guilty last week in Circuit Court to second-degree burglary and was sentenced to three years in jail, all but one year of which was suspended.

In August, Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) detectives identified three suspects wanted in connection several motor vehicle thefts and burglaries in the Snow Hill area dating back to May. One of the suspects, a juvenile, was located in Atlanta in possession of one of the stolen motor vehicles. WCBI detectives flew to Atlanta to question the juvenile and arrest him.

Through the investigation, WCBI detectives identified Jacob Derr, 19, of Snow Hill, and Dennis John Cross, 18, of Greenbackville, Va., as suspects. Derr was arrested and charged with one count each of first-degree burglary, malicious destruction of property and theft under $1,000. Last week in Circuit Court, Derr pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary and was sentenced to three years in jail with all suspended but one year, and he was placed on supervised probation for three years upon release.

At the time, Cross fled the area on foot when the juvenile involved in the case was apprehended in Atlanta but he was later arrested and charged for his role in the car theft scheme. Cross is scheduled to appear for trial later this month.

Coast Guard Rescues Two

OCEAN CITY – The U.S. Coast Guard rescued two injured fishermen from a vessel five miles off the coast of Ocean City last week.

Around 10:50 a.m. last Thursday, Coast Guard Station Ocean City received a call from someone aboard the fishing vessel “Reedville” stating they had two injured crewmembers that needed emergency assistance. The Coast Guard launched a 25-foot response boat and arrived on the scene about five miles off the coast of Ocean City opposite the Inlet a short time later.

The Coast Guard crew aboard the rescue boat transferred to injured fishermen to their vessel and transported them to the Coast Guard station in downtown Ocean City where they were met by Ocean City paramedics. The injured fishermen were then transported to AGH in Berlin with unknown injuries.

Arson In The Park

OCEAN PINES – The Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office this week is investigating a fire at a park in Ocean Pines last weekend deemed intentionally set.

Around 3:30 p.m. last Saturday, a fire was reported in a public park near Abbyshire and Birdnest Drive in Ocean Pines. First-arriving units discovered a portable toilet on fire. The investigation determined the fire was intentionally set and its cause has been ruled arson.

The Fire Marshal’s Office and the Ocean Pines Police continue to investigate the incident. Witnesses reported seeking three youths in the area just prior to the fire. Anyone with information is urged to call the Fire Marshal’s Office at 410-632-5666.

Probation, Fine for Pines Arson

SNOW HILL – An Ocean Pines woman charged in April with setting her own residence of fire this week entered an Alford Plea to reckless endangerment and was sentenced to one year in jail, which was then suspended in favor of probation and a fine.

Around 1 p.m. on April 26, Ocean Pines Emergency Services were alerted for an ambulance call for a reported drug overdose. While en route, Ocean Pines emergency services were advised the occupant of the residence, later identified as Roslyn Smith, 46, of Ocean Pines, had overdosed on medication and had threatened to burn her house down.

First-arriving units from the Ocean Pines Volunteer Fire Company reported heavy smoke and flames showing from the two-story dwelling. The blaze was quickly extinguished by firefighters from the Ocean Pines, Showell, Berlin, Bishopville and Ocean City fire companies. However, firefighters remained on the scene for roughly two hours.

Smith was treated at the scene by Ocean Pines EMS for burn injuries and respiratory complications. She was transported first to PRMC in Salisbury and then to the Bayview Burn Center in Baltimore, where she was listed initially in critical condition. The Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office determined the fire originated in a first-floor bedroom.

During the course of the investigation, it was determined the fire was intentionally set and was considered an arson. The investigation further revealed Smith was the only person occupying the residence at the time of the fire and Fire Marshal’s Office investigators determined she was the person responsible for the intentional setting of the fire.

Smith was formally charged with first- and second-degree arson. This week in Circuit Court, Smith entered an Alford Plea to reckless endangerment. In an Alford plea, a defendant does not plead guilty but acknowledges the state has enough evidence to prosecute the case. Smith was sentenced to one year in jail, which was suspended. She was then placed on probation for three years and fined $500.

Warrant Sworn For Boardwalk Tirade

OCEAN CITY – A Pennsylvania man arrested in August on disorderly conduct and resisting arrest charges after allegedly going on an expletive-laced tirade about Ocean City’s bicycle laws in front of a crowd on the Boardwalk failed to appear for trial last week and had a warrant sworn out for his arrest.

Around 12:30 a.m. on August 12, a mounted OCPD officer stopped an unidentified man about riding a bicycle on the Boardwalk before 2 a.m. According to police, the man was cooperative and free leave, but when he said something to another man in his company about the ordinance, the other man, identified as Blake Anthony Gerhart, 19, of Phoenixville, Pa., allegedly yelled in a voice loud enough to be heard by the officer over 50 feet away, “[expletive deleted] your laws.” According to police reports, Gerhart continued to walk south on the Boardwalk and continued to shout the same expletive, which was heard by dozens of people who were now staring at him.

According to police reports, Gerhart appeared to be intoxicated and stumbled as he walked and continued to attract a crowd with his tirade. Eventually, OCPD officer detained Gerhart and told him to sit on the Boardwalk. However, while they were talking to Gerhart, the officers were distracted by heckling from people in the crowd and Gerhart allegedly got back to his feet and attempted to flee, but he was taken into custody.

Gerhart was eventually charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, a noise ordinance and possession of alcohol by a minor. He was scheduled to appear for trial in District Court, but did not show up and had a warrant sworn out for his arrest.

Arson Case Forwarded to Circuit

WEST OCEAN CITY – A Snow Hill man arrested in September on first-degree arson and other charges after the Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office was able to connect him to an residential fire on Keyser Point Rd. in April had his case forwarded to Circuit Court last week.
On April 11, Ocean City firefighters responded to a reported fire at a residence on Keyser Point Rd. A neighbor reported the fire. First-arriving units reported heavy fire showing from the rear of the single-story dwelling. The fire was quickly extinguished with no injuries reported. The Berlin Volunteer Fire Company also responded to assist. The residence was unoccupied at the time of the blaze. 
During the course of the investigation, the Fire Marshal’s Office determined the fire had been intentionally set and ruled it an arson case, although no suspect or suspects were immediately identified. In September, however, the Fire Marshal’s Office concluded its investigation with the arrest of Thomas W. Sellers, 53, whose last known address was in Snow Hill. Sellers has been charged with first- and second-degree arson.

Sellers appeared in District Court last week and had his case forwarded to Circuit Court. He was released last Friday after posting a $50,000 bond. Sellers is scheduled to appear for arraignment on October 27.

For Sellers, his arrest in September on arson charges for the Keyser Point Rd. fire was just the most recent string of incidents in the same area. In August, he was sentenced to 90 days in jail for trespassing at a residence on Keyser Point Rd. In that incident dating back to March 2009, Sellers entered the West Ocean City residence uninvited and later slashed the tires of a truck in the back yard.
On March 23, 2009, a Maryland State Police trooper responded to a residence on Keyser Point Rd. in West Ocean City for a reported burglary. The trooper met with the victim who told police three different witnesses had seen a man they knew as Sellers enter the home illegally the day before. According to the witnesses, Sellers announced he was going into the residence, which he had been banned from in the past, to use the bathroom.
While inside, the witnesses reported hearing Sellers rummage through cabinets in the home. The property owner returned and confronted Sellers, who said he had entered the locked residence after finding a hidden key outside. According to police reports, when Sellers left the residence, he went out to the back yard and slashed the tires of an unregistered Ford F-150 truck. Sellers had slashed other tires on the vehicle during an earlier incident.

Hefty Fine For Crack Possession

OCEAN CITY – A Selbyville woman arrested in June on first- and second-degree assault charges after allegedly trying to stab a random couple on a downtown street was found guilty this week on drug possession charges and was fined and placed on probation.

Around 3:40 a.m. on June 21, Ocean City Police responded to an area behind a 28th Street shopping center for a reported assault. Once on scene, the responding officers found another OCPD officer already treating a male victim, identified as Thomas A. Clancy, 44, who was losing consciousness and was unable to communicate with the officers. Near the injured man was a woman, later identified as Faith Amber MacNichol, 28, of Selbyville, who was pacing and acting hysterically, although not crying, according to police reports.

MacNichol told police Clancy was her husband and told an elaborate story about how he came to be seriously injured behind the shopping center. She told police she and Clancy were walking down Baltimore Ave. when they were approached by two white males and a Hispanic woman. The couple struck up a conversation with the group before one of the men, whom she knew only as Mike or Mark, guided her into a nearby motel stairwell and made sexual advances.

MacNichol told police she got away from the male suspect when a female in the group punched her in the face for flirting with her boyfriend. Meanwhile, according to MacNichol, the male who had assaulted her in the stairwell chased down Clancy and punched him, knocking him to the ground while continuing to assault him.

OCPD officer located a pair of individuals a short distance away that matched the descriptions provided by MacNichol. When questioned, however, the couple told a completely different version of the story. The couple told police they were walking down Baltimore Ave. where they were followed by MacNichol and Clancy, who approached them and asked if they wanted to share marijuana and crack cocaine in a nearby motel room.

The couple told police they declined the invitation and kept on walking when Clancy allegedly put his arm around the female. Clancy’s actions made the female uncomfortable and she asked her male companion to intercede on her behalf. The couple told police MacNichol then slapped the man with an open hand, and when the female began to argue with her about the confrontation, MacNichol allegedly pulled a sharp knife, or dagger as the couple described it, from her purse and attempted to stab the female.

When MacNichol attempted to stab the male with the same weapon, the male knocked her to the ground and they attempted to get away. When Clancy continued to follow them, the male punched Clancy one time, nearly knocking him out, which is when the police arrived.

A search of MacNichol’s purse revealed marijuana and crack cocaine, but no weapon matching the description provided by the victims. However, a folding knife was found in MacNichol’s bra during a search. The two victims were brought to the scene and identified MacNichol as the woman who attacked them. They also described in separate testimony an exact description of the knife, but the weapon was never found after a search of the area.

Because of the credibility of the victims, and the apparent intoxication of MacNichol and Clancy, the arresting officer charged MacNichol with two counts each of first- and second-degree assault, dangerous weapon with intent to injure and various drug charges.

This week in District Court, MacNichol was found guilty of possession of crack cocaine and marijuana and was fined $1,000, half of which was suspended. She was also placed on probation for two years. However, the first- and second-degree assault charges, along with carrying a dangerous weapon with intent to injure, were not prosecuted.