OCEAN CITY — The second of two Berlin residents arrested last summer after police connect him to a series of break-ins in the resort pleaded guilty this week to two counts of theft less than $1,000 and was sentenced to 18 months, all of which was suspended in favor of probation and a fine.
The Ocean City Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division, in conjunction with the Patrol Division and with assistance from the Ocean Pines Police Department, early last summer began investigating burglaries at various locations throughout the resort during the early part of June. The investigation revealed the common link in the burglaries was that they were each serviced by the same property management company.
During the course of the investigation, detectives established a primary suspect, identified as Justin Caple, 23, of Berlin, after learning he was a new employee of the property management company who had access to the burglarized units. Based on information obtained during the investigation, detectives obtained arrest warrants for Caple and a known associate, identified as Lindsay Marie Lopez, 23, of Berlin.
Caple and Lopez were located and arrested. Caple was charged with first-degree burglary and two counts of theft, while Lopez was charged with theft and rogue and vagabond. On Tuesday, Lopez pleaded guilty to two counts of theft and was sentenced to 18 months in jail, all of which was suspended. Lopez was then placed on probation for three years and fined $500.
In November, Caple pleaded guilty to two counts of theft under $1,000 and received 18-month suspended sentences for each and also pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree burglary and was sentenced to three years on that count, which was also suspended. However, Caple also pleaded guilty to possession of heroin and was sentenced to 18 months, which he is serving.
Fines For Paraphernalia
OCEAN CITY — Two Ocean City Boardwalk shop owners whose establishments were busted in August for selling illegal drug paraphernalia each were found guilty last week of distribution of paraphernalia and each was placed on probation and fined.
On Aug. 24 and again on Aug. 30, OCPD patrol officers discovered two different Boardwalk businesses selling smoking devices fashioned in a manner to smoke controlled dangerous substances (CDS) and seized the illegal items. At the Shore Side Shop on Aug. 24, the alleged CDS smoking devices were discovered by police in a box on the floor behind the counter.
On Aug. 30 at NY Piercing, the suspected CDS smoking devices were observed in a large glass case. At the time of the discovery, the smoking devices were found in close proximity to various items that promoted the use of marijuana including ashtrays, T-shirts and statues all displaying pot leaves. During the investigation, police consulted with the Worcester County State’s Attorney and determined the items were in violation of state law prohibiting the sale of such CDS paraphernalia.
As a result, on Aug. 30-31, OCPD officers made applications for charges of possession and distribution of CDS paraphernalia for the two business owners, identified as Benjamin Darmony, 48, of Berlin, who owns Shore Side Shop, and Claude Darmony, 23, of Ocean City, who owns NY Piercing. Ocean City Police had previously met with both owners in June and furnished them with a 15-page packet containing the Maryland Criminal Law Article governing CDS with explanations and examples of what constituted CDS paraphernalia.
Last week, each of the defendants were found guilty of distribution of paraphernalia. Each was fined $500 and placed on probation for one year.
Probation, Fines For Pot
SNOW HILL — Two Annapolis residents arrested in September on drug charges after getting pulled over for speeding near Berlin each pleaded guilty this week to possession of marijuana and each was fined and placed on probation.
Around 2:40 p.m. on Sept. 22, 2012, a Maryland State Police trooper conducted a traffic stop on a 2007 Mazda sedan for exceeding the speed limit on Route 50 near Route 346 in Berlin. Upon making contact with the driver, the trooper detected the strong odor of burnt marijuana emanating from inside the vehicle.
A probable cause search revealed various controlled dangerous substances in the vehicle including marijuana and paraphernalia. The two occupants, Thomas Steiff, 31, and Stephanie Radvak, 29, both of Annapolis, were arrested and charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance and possession of paraphernalia.
On Tuesday, Steiff and Radvak each pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana. Each was placed on probation for one year and fined $300.
SALISBURY — A single-vehicle accident last weekend resulted in the motorist allegedly assaulting the responding officer.
On Jan. 26, at approximately 1 a.m., the Salisbury Police Department responded to the 7-Eleven located at 516 Spring Hill Rd for an accident. The investigation revealed that a single vehicle collided into the fuel pumps causing the vehicle to become disabled and the fuel pump inoperable.
The driver reportedly refused to leave the vehicle, locking the doors to prevent entry. An officer attempted to pull the driver out of the vehicle and was assaulted. The officer dispersed pepper spray and was able to take William Marshall Byrd, 28, of Salisbury, into custody. Officers recovered suspected drug paraphernalia from the vehicle.
Byrd was charged with second degree assault, resisting arrest, obstructing and hindering, Failure to Obey Lawful Order and Driving While Impaired.