Arrest Made In Vehicle Assault

BERLIN – A Berlin man was arrested on assault charges this week after an investigation connected him to an incident in October during which he intentionally attempted to run a vehicle off the road on Route 50.

The Worcester County Bureau of Investigations (WCBI) this week charged Marqui D. Henry, 33, with three counts of second-degree assault after concluding an investigation into an incident dating back to late October.

On Oct. 21, WCBI detectives were notified of an assault involving a motor vehicle on Route 50 near Route 589. The investigation revealed Henry and a male victim were both traveling east on Route 50 in their respective vehicles when Henry allegedly attempted to run the victim off the road. The investigation also revealed Henry attempted to deliberately collide with the victim’s vehicle. Henry was charged this week on a criminal summons with three counts of second-degree assault related to the October incident.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is urged to contact WCBI at 410-352-3476.

Christmas Gift Thief Nabbed

BERLIN – A second suspect was arrested on burglary and theft charges this week after detectives were able to connect him to an incident last week in the south end of the county during which thousands of dollars worth of wrapped Christmas presents were stolen from a residence.

Last Tuesday, Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a reported residential burglary on Critcher Rd. in Pocomoke. The investigation revealed a suspect or suspects had gained entry to the residence by prying open an exterior door and left the area after taking an estimated $43,000 in personal property. Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) detectives were called to the scene, but no suspect was immediately identified.

On Wednesday, Maryland State Police troopers were dispatched to a residence on Brantley Rd. in the same area for another residential burglary. The victim arrived at his residence and observed three unidentified men walking out of his house carrying his wrapped Christmas presents as well as other personal property.

While the victim was on the phone with police, the three suspects fled the area. MSP troopers, along with Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputies and Pocomoke Police officers searched the area for the suspects and located one, identified as LeAnder Dynte Ward, 18, of Pocomoke. Two other suspects were not immediately located.

WCBI detectives were able to connect Ward to both break-ins on Tuesday and Wednesday. He has been charged with first-degree burglary and theft from $10,000 to $100,000. Ward is being held in the Worcester County Jail on a $20,000 bond. This week, WCBI detectives identified Robert Irvin Branch, Jr., 27, of Pocomoke, as the second suspect in the theft of Christmas presents from the Brantley Rd. residence.

Branch remains at large although a warrant has been sworn out for his arrest charging him with two counts each of first- and third-degree burglary, theft, malicious destruction of property and conspiracy to commit theft charges. Anyone with information on the incident or the whereabouts of Branch is urged to contact WCBI at 410-352-3476.

Probation For Cocaine Dealer

SNOW HILL – A Sykesville, Md. man, arrested in June after selling cocaine to an undercover OCPD officer, pleaded guilty last week to a distribution charge and was sentenced to three years in jail, all of which was suspended in favor of probation.

One June 11, two undercover OCPD detectives working in the area of Sunset Ave. and Judlee Ave. attempted to purchase narcotics from individuals in the area. The officers approached an individual, later identified as Kyle Everhart Pennington, 22, of Sykesville, and asked about purchasing “white girl,” which is street slang for powder cocaine.

Pennington told the officers he had a $55 bag of cocaine to sell them and the officers told the suspect they needed to get some money to make the purchase. Pennington told the officers he would meet them at the corner of Bayshore Drive and Judlee when they had the money for the purchase. A short time later, the undercover officers met Pennington again and told him to get in the back of their vehicle. After the deal was completed, Pennington got out of the vehicle and was immediately taken into custody by a uniformed OCPD officer.

Last week, Pennington pleaded guilty to distributing cocaine and was sentenced to three years in jail. All of the jail sentence was then suspended and Pennington was placed on probation for three years.

Jail Time For Handgun

SNOW HILL – A Virginia man arrested in September on a weapons charge after a loaded gun was found in his vehicle during a traffic stop on Route 113 pleaded guilty last week in District Court and was sentenced to six months in jail, most of which was suspended.

Around 11 p.m. on Sept. 18, a Maryland State Police trooper on routine traffic patrol pulled over a vehicle on Route 113 near Langmaid Rd. in Newark for passing in a no passing zone. A check of the driver, identified as William Harrison Wilson, 21, of Temperanceville, Va., revealed he was wanted on an outstanding bench warrant for driving on a suspended license.

While placing Wilson under arrest, the trooper noticed the barrel of a firearm protruding from underneath the driver’s side floor mat. The trooper retrieved the weapon and found it to be a loaded .32 caliber Colt revolver. The investigation revealed Wilson did not have a handgun permit or any documentation for the firearm and he was charged additionally with carrying a handgun in a vehicle.

Last week in District Court, Wilson pleaded guilty to having a handgun in his vehicle and was sentenced to six months in jail, all but 45 days of which were then suspended. He was also fined $500.

Back To Jail For Robber

SNOW HILL – An Ocean Pines man convicted on theft charges in September for an attempted armed robbery incident last December was sent back to jail for 18 months last week after violating the terms of his probation with his most recent arrest.

Patrick William Self, 19, pleaded guilty to theft charges in September for the attempted armed robbery in December 2009 and was sentenced to 18 months in jail, all of which was suspended in favor of probation. However, Self was arrested again in October on burglary and assault charges, which violated the terms of his probation. Self’s probation was revoked last week and he was sent back to jail to serve his original 18-month sentence.

Shortly after 8 p.m. on Dec. 15, 2009, Ocean Pines Police officers and Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the Walgreen’s store on Manklin Creek Rd. in Ocean Pines for a reported attempted armed robbery. The investigation revealed a suspect entered the warehouse area of the store and accosted a female employee. 
The suspect, armed with a knife, demanded the female employee take him to a cash register inside the main store. Once inside, the employee was able to flee the victim, who gave up the effort and fled on foot. Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputies, including a K-9 unit, conducted an extensive search of the area but failed to immediately locate the suspect.
However, Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) detectives took over the investigation and were able to identify the suspect as Self. Charges including armed robbery, first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment were filed against Self and he was taken into custody.
In September, Self pleaded guilty to theft and was sentenced to 18 months in jail. The sentence was then suspended and Self was placed on supervised probation for three years and fined $500. At a violation of probation hearing last week, Self was sent back to jail to serve his original 18-month sentence.

More Details On House Fire

BERLIN – More details emerged this week from a house fire on Friendship Rd. in Berlin last Thursday afternoon.

Shortly before 12:30 p.m. last Thursday, a fire was reported at a residence on Friendship Rd. in Berlin. First-arriving unit from the Berlin Volunteer Fire Company observed heavy fire extending from multiple sides of the single-story residential structure. Fire companies from Ocean City, Ocean Pines, Showell, Newark and Powellville all responded to the scene to assist the Berlin Fire Company with the blaze.

The Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office responded and investigated the fire, but no cause has been determined. Three adults and two children lived in the residence, but none of them were home at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported. However, two family dogs were rushed to a local animal hospital for treatment of injuries sustained in the fire.

The American Red Cross responded to assist with sheltering the five individuals who lived in the residence. The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Worcester County Fire Marshal’s Office at 410-632-5666.

Abuse Case Moves Ahead

OCEAN PINE – A Bishopville woman arrested on child abuse and assault charges in June after she allegedly abused a child in her care in an Ocean Pines residence had her case forwarded to Circuit Court last week.

On June 25, Ocean Pines Police charged Carleigh Renee Kufchak, 19, of Bishopville, with first- and second-degree child abuse, second-degree assault and reckless endangerment after an investigation revealed a child she had been caring for in an Ocean Pines residence had been abused. Kufchak had a preliminary appearance in District Court last week and had her case forwarded to Circuit Court. She is scheduled to be arraigned on Jan. 5.

Stet Docket For Drug Arrest

SNOW HILL – One of two local men arrested on multiple drug charges in October after Berlin Police observed them hanging around an apartment complex had the charges against him placed on the stet, or inactive, docket last week in Circuit Court.

Around 4:40 p.m. on Oct. 1, 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.

Last week in Circuit Court, Waples had each of the 16 charges against him placed on the stet, or inactive, docket. Harmon is scheduled to appear for trial in February.

Three Arrested In Tire Thefts

BERLIN – Three local men were arrested on theft charges last week after allegedly swiping dozens of tire rims from a Pocomoke business.

Last Wednesday, Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to Nock’s Tires in Pocomoke for a reported theft. The investigation revealed that during the overnight hours, a suspect or suspects had stolen 25 vehicle tire rims from the business. Worcester County Bureau of Investigations (WCBI) detectives were brought in and quickly developed three suspects in the thefts.

Christopher Joseph, 19, Stephen Petitt, 23, and Travis Parsons, 24, all of Pocomoke, were arrested and charged with theft over $1,000 and conspiracy to commit theft. The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is urged to call WCBI at 410-352-3476.