NEW FOR MONDAY: OC Man Busted For Pot Distribution; Ocean Pines Residents Charged With Major Computer Crimes

OCEAN CITY — A local man was arrested with a significant amount of marijuana in an Ocean City hotel room after resort police earlier in the day arrested his caretaker for possession.< ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office">

Around 9:40 a.m. on Friday, Ocean City Police were conducting a follow-up check on the welfare of Brian Daniel Sterner, 37, of Ocean City, who was staying in a hotel room in the area of 32nd Street and Baltimore Ave. Earlier on Friday morning, another occupant in the hotel, identified as Jody Lyn Paull, 26, of Ocean City, was arrested for possession of marijuana and told officers she was the caretaker of the wheelchair-bound Sterner, who was staying in a neighboring room.

OCPD officers went to check on Sterner’s welfare and got no response after several attempts. When officers attempted to contact Sterner from outside the room, they detected an odor of marijuana coming from the unit. OCPD officers located Sterner on the balcony of the unit, and after he appeared unconscious at first, he eventually responded to officers.

Once inside the unit, officers observed a large amount of marijuana in Sterner’s lap and he was arrested for possession. After placing Sterner under arrest, police executed a search warrant for the room and located approximately 23 ounces of marijuana in various containers and bags. In addition, police seized over $600 in currency, several items of paraphernalia, computers, ledgers and phones.

In all, Sterner was charged with possession, possession with intent to distribute marijuana and distribution of marijuana. After an initial appearance before an Ocean City District Court Commissioner, Sterner released on personal recognizance.

Three Men Charged With Computer Crimes

OCEAN PINES — Ocean Pines Police assisted federal law enforcement last week in the service of a search warrant at an Ocean Parkway home in Ocean Pines, resulting in a number of criminal charges related to computer crimes.

Members of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as Ocean Pines Police, served a search warrant at 66 Ocean Parkway in Ocean Pines on Dec. 4.  The search warrant was in reference to a Federal Kansas City investigation in which the three suspects located within the residence were suspected to be involved.  Ocean Pines Police developed information on the location of the suspects and provided information to Federal authorities, which facilitated the investigation.

Three individuals were located inside the residence, and numerous electronic items, believed to be involved in a large computer crime network, were recovered.  Ocean Pines Police arrested the three individuals on state criminal charges, and it is anticipated that federal charges shall be placed, at a later date.  All three suspects are Russian nationals.

Police charged Zauer Anatolyevich Khezhev, 25, with possession of a re-encoder/skimming device and possession/use of a false government identification document; Reat Vorokov, 24, charged with possession of a re-encoder/skimming device and possession/use of a false government identification document; and Beslan Tlezhukov, 26, charged with possession of a re-encoder/skimming device.

All three suspects were taken before a District Court Commissioner and were released on personal recognizance, pending trial on Maryland criminal charges.