Pot In Mail Recipients Busted

Pot In Mail Recipients Busted
Caprice Chevy 62

WEST OCEAN CITY — Two Florida residents were arrested on drug charges earlier this month after the Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) got a tip about a large shipment of marijuana being mailed to them.

In early October, OCPD narcotics officers received information about a possible large shipment of marijuana destined for a person in West Ocean City. Narcotics detectives determined the shipment was coming from the western part of the U.S. Based on the investigation, the OCPD narcotics unit, with the help of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Criminal Enforcement Division, obtained a search and seizure warrant for the suspect’s residence and vehicle located at the cottages on Old Bridge Rd.

On Oct. 7, police executed the warrants on the residence of Edward Gregory Cropper, Jr., 26, of the Villages, Fla., and seized a package containing one pound and one ounce of marijuana, six additional bags of marijuana totaling another four ounces, several MDMA tablets, scales, two computers, a cell phone and over $300 in cash.

Cropper was arrested and charged with possession and possession with intent to distribute marijuana, and possession of paraphernalia. Also arrested was Susan Degregory, 52, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., who was charged with possession of MDMA. Both were taken before a District Court Commissioner. Cropper was ordered held on a $25,000 bond and was transferred to the Worcester County Jail, while Degregory was released on her own recognizance.

Escapee Sought

SNOW HILL — The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office this week is looking for an escaped inmate who failed to return from work release last week.

Last Friday, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office responded to the County Jail for a report of an inmate who failed to report back from work release. The inmate, Wyatt Barry Powell, 24, of Selbyville, was serving a one-year sentence for unauthorized removal of property.

Powell was last seen at the Worcester County Landfill in Newark around 2 p.m. last Friday. He is described as an African-American male, around 6’1” and about 185 pounds. An escape warrant has been issued. Anyone who sees Powell or knows his whereabouts is urged to contact the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office at 410-632-1111, their local police department or 911. Powell might be in the Selbyville area.

First-Degree Murder Conviction

SNOW HILL — A Worcester County jury last week found a Pocomoke man guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Reginald Handy Jr. in May 2010 after a mistrial was declared in his first trial in July.

After a three-day trial in July, a Worcester County jury could not find Skylor Harmon, 19, of Pocomoke, guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting of Handy on a Pocomoke street in May 2010 and a mistrial was declared. Last week, a second three-day trial was held after which the jury deliberated for nearly three hours before finding Harmon guilty of first-degree murder. Harmon now awaits his fate pending the outcome of a pre-sentence investigation. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 6.

Harmon’s conviction last week adds a new wrinkle to what has already been a confusing case. On May 27, 2010, Pocomoke Police responded to reports of gunfire in the area of Laurel Street. Officers arrived and found a victim, Reginald Handy, also of Pocomoke, had been shot several times from behind. Handy was taken to PRMC in Salisbury where he was pronounced dead.

According to police reports, a witness observed an unknown man approach Handy and exchange words with the victim. The verbal altercation turned deadly when the still unknown suspect fired a handgun several times at Handy, striking him in the back, while firing additional shots at another man, later identified as Torrance Davis, who was not struck.

The Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) arrived on the scene and began to piece together what happened from witness testimony. The investigation led to the identification of a possible suspect, Alexander Crippen, 36, of Pocomoke, who was later found in a Delaware motel room under a different name.

Last June, a Worcester County grand jury indicted Crippen on first-degree murder charges for the shooting death of Handy and attempted murder charges for the shots fired against Davis.

Last November, however, ballistic evidence excluded Crippen as the suspect who fired the shot that killed Handy and the first-degree murder charges against him were dropped. However, the attempted first-degree murder charges against Crippen for the shots fired at Davis proceeded to trial and he was found guilty last December. He was sentenced in April to life in prison, all but 25 years of which were then suspended.

After the ballistic evidence cleared Crippen of firing the shot that killed Handy, detectives focused their attention on Harmon, who was Crippen’s nephew and had also been placed at the scene of the shooting by witnesses. Harmon was formally charged with first-degree murder and he was soon picked up after a massive manhunt across the south end of Worcester County last fall.

Two Arrested In Traffic Stop

SNOW HILL — Two men were arrested on drug possession and distribution charges last week after a traffic stop related to a controlled dangerous substance investigation in the south end of Worcester County.

Last Friday, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Team was conducting a CDS probe in the Pocomoke area when it initiated a traffic stop in the area of Route 13. A search of the vehicle determined the passenger, identified as Dana Lamar Collick, 22, of Pocomoke, was in possession of roughly 3.5 grams of crack cocaine. Another passenger, identified as Terrence Richard Justice, 28, of Temperanceville, Va. was found to be wanted on an outstanding warrant from Wicomico County for failing to appear in court.

Both suspects were arrested and transported to the Worcester County Jail. Collick was charged with possession of crack cocaine, while Justice is being held on a $15,000 bond for the outstanding warrant in Wicomico.

Knife Threat Arrest

SALISBURY — A Salisbury man was arrested on first-degree assault and other charges last week after allegedly threatening family members with a knife during a domestic situation.

Around 4:30 a.m. last Friday, Wicomico County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a residence on Snow Hill Rd. for a reported domestic situation. Upon arrival, deputies learned a suspect, identified as Kurt V. Otto, 55, of Salisbury, had brandished a large kitchen knife while making threatening gestures toward family members. Deputies located Otto inside the residence and recovered the knife, which was identified by the victims. Otto was arrested and charged with first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment.

Big Year For Fugitive Task Force On Shore

SALISBURY — The U.S. Marshals Service this week announced its joint fugitive apprehension team has arrested nearly 500 violent criminals on Maryland’s Eastern Shore during the last year and praised the collaborative efforts of the local law enforcement agencies.

From October 2010 to October 2011, the Fugitive Task Force working on the Eastern Shore of Maryland arrested 476 violent criminals and sex offenders as well as fugitives wanted for other violent crimes like homicide, assault, kidnapping, drug and gun trafficking and vehicle theft. 

This successful initiative is led by the United States Marshals Service and combines federal, state and local agencies. For more than 200 years, United States Marshals have helped organize posses to round up fugitives sought by law enforcement officials. More recently, the units are called fugitive task forces.  The Marshals Service places an emphasis on fugitive apprehension and reducing  violent crime by targeting the “worst of the worst” fugitive felons, violent and non-compliant sex offenders, gang members, homicide suspects and narcotics traffickers.

“The U.S. Marshals Service was able to team up with the Maryland State Police and together create a very successful Fugitive Task Force,” said Fugitive Task Force Supervisory Inspector Barry Boright.  “Because of the support from elected officials at all levels of government, we were able to bring all of our considerable resources and experience to the Eastern Shore.  We were able to capture a lot of really bad people during this past year including sex offenders.   I think our success comes from the collaborative effort of all of the agencies involved.”

The Fugitive Task Force consists of investigators from the U.S. Marshals, Maryland State Police, Salisbury Police Department, Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office, Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office and Maryland Parole and Probation. This support has resulted in this collaboration among all levels of law enforcement where the sharing of information, resources and expertise have produced these results and removed 500 violent criminals from the streets of the Eastern Shore of Maryland. 

Threw Phone At Son

SALISBURY — A Salisbury man was arrested on assault charges this week after allegedly throwing a phone at his son during a domestic altercation and damaging the son’s teeth.

Around 11:18 p.m. on Tuesday, the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office responded to a reported disturbance at a residence on Patrick Ave. Upon arrival, a deputy learned an altercation had taken place between a suspect, later identified as Damian L. Tull, 33, of Salisbury, and his 18-year-old son. During the altercation, Tull allegedly threw a phone at his son causing damage to the son’s teeth.

The deputy saw obvious signs of injury on the victim which corroborated the account. Tull was arrested and charged with second-degree assault. He was taken before a District Court Commissioner and ordered held on a $10,000 bond.

Taser Used On Gun Suspect

SALISBURY — A Salisbury man was arrested on weapons charges this week after police had to utilize a Taser on him after finding a handgun in the waistband of his pants.

Shortly after 10 p.m. on Monday, Wicomico County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the area of Tyler Ave. for a complaint about a suspicious individual. Deputies located the suspect, later identified as Donald H. Ellis, 30, of Salisbury, who began to act furtively when questioned by police.

One of the deputies began a pat down on Ellis and recognized the feel of a handgun in the waistband of his pants. When the deputy attempted to handcuff Ellis, the suspect pushed the deputy away and made an attempt to grab the hidden handgun. A second deputy was forced to use a Taser to gain control of Ellis. Ellis was arrested and charged with having a handgun on his person, carrying a concealed deadly weapon and resisting arrest. He is being held on a $20,000 bond.

Arson Alleged

SALISBURY — A Salisbury woman was arrested on arson charges last week after allegedly using gasoline to set paper and cardboard on fire during a verbal argument.

Around 11:15 p.m. last Thursday, Salisbury Police were called to a residence on Foggy Bottom Drive for a reported arson. Officers met with an adult male victim who told police he had been involved in an argument with the suspect, later identified as Christina June Taylor, 32, of Salisbury, who also lived at the residence.

During the argument, Taylor allegedly used gasoline to start a fire in her bedroom and had burned paper and cardboard. No injuries were reported. Taylor was arrested and charged with four counts of reckless endangerment.