Cops & Courts

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Growing Operation

OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man faces numerous drug charges this week after an OCPD narcotics unit raid on his residence Tuesday evening revealed an alleged marijuana growing operation including over 100 plants.

Around 6 p.m. on Tuesday, the OCPD Narcotics Unit executed a search and seizure warrant on a residence on Sunset Drive in Ocean City following an investigation into the illegal manufacturing and distribution of marijuana in and around the resort area. During the on-scene investigation, OCPD narcotics detectives discovered 104 individual marijuana plants being grown in the unit.

Investigators were able to identify the primary suspect at the scene as Christopher Scott Smith, 39, of Ocean City. During the investigation, detectives seized various items of evidence including numerous pieces of equipment used in the growing and production of marijuana. Smith was arrested and has been charged with manufacturing marijuana, possession and possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

Shots Fired At Pub Fight

POCOMOKE — Two people were injured, including one who was shot in the foot, during a large fight at a pub in Pocomoke last weekend.

Around 1 a.m. last Saturday, Worcester County Emergency Services dispatch center received multiple 911 calls stating there was a large fight involving gunfire at P.J.’s Pub in Pocomoke. Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputies, the Maryland State Police and the Pocomoke Police responded and encountered a large, disorderly crowd. In an attempt to restore the safety of the remaining patrons and staff, and to identify and treat the victims, several participants in the fight were taken into custody and charged with disorderly conduct after failing to obey the officers’ instructions.

Order was restored shortly thereafter and the victims were identified and the crime scene was secured. Two victims were treated at the hospital. One was treated for several head lacerations, while the other was treated for a gunshot wound to the foot. Detectives from the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) and crime scene technicians from the Maryland State Police arrived and processed the scene. The investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information on the incident is urged to contact Det. Alex Kagan of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office at 410-632-1111.

Prostitution Sting

SALISBURY — The Salisbury Police Department and the Maryland State Police last week wrapped up an undercover operation targeting prostitution in Salisbury with 14 arrests.

On March 15, Salisbury Police and the MSP began a joint undercover investigation into prostitution in the Salisbury area. The investigation focused on both the females involved in prostitution and their prospective male customers. All in all, 14 arrests were made during the two-day operation including six females and eight males.

Among the six females arrested were Lisa Marie Jones, 47, of Salisbury; Valerie Ann Cheeks, 41, of Salisbury; Dorothy Michelle Donaway, 39, of Salisbury; Alexandria Joy Rittenhouse, 28, of Salisbury; Melanie Beth North, 42, of Salisbury and Celestine Coria Cornish, 58, of Salisbury. Each was charged with prostitution and assignation.

The males arrested included Alexander Clinton Price, 70, of Quantico; Sean Christopher Beauchamp, 29, of Pocomoke; Cortez Maurice Sterling, 24, of Salisbury; Travis Donyel Smullen, 33, of Salisbury; John Herman Williams, 76, of Ocean City; Earlest Marion Satchell, Jr., 46, of Salisbury; Jacob Gordon Vanus, 34, of Salisbury; and Keith Samuel Barkley, 49, of Salisbury. Each was charged with prostitution and assignation.

Armed Bank Robber Nabbed

SALISBURY — A Salisbury man was arrested on armed robbery and assault charges last week after holding up a bank and escaping in a waiting taxi cab.

Around 10:40 a.m. last Thursday, Salisbury Police responded to the PNC Bank on Civic Ave. for a reported armed robbery. The investigation revealed a suspect arrived at the bank in a taxi, which waited outside while he went in. The suspect met with a bank employee and passed a note demanding currency. The suspect also stated to a bank employee that he had a handgun, but never displayed the weapon during the robbery.

Once the suspect received an undisclosed amount of currency, he left the area in the same taxi. A description of the suspect and the taxi cab were broadcasted and officers began canvassing the area for the suspect and the vehicle. During the investigation, it was determined the suspect had been picked up by the taxi prior to the robbery in the area of E. Railroad Ave.

Officers began canvassing the area and located a suspect matching the description inside a residence. The suspect was positively identified by a witness and was taken into custody. Members of the Maryland State Apprehension Team and the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the investigation. No one was injured during the robbery.

The suspect has been identified as Gary Allen Mitchell, 42, of Salisbury. He has been charged with armed robbery, robbery, first- and second-degree assault and theft less than $1,000. The following day, detectives confirmed Mitchell had obtained $4,177 in currency from the PNC Bank during the robbery. Detectives executed a search and seizure warrant at Mitchell’s residence and recovered $3,422 in currency. Mitchell is currently on parole for six bank robberies he committed in the Baltimore area in 2004.

Victim Robbed Of Pills

SALISBURY — A Hebron man was arrested on assault and robbery charges this week after allegedly knocking a wheel chair-bound man to the ground and stealing his prescription pills.

Around 3:50 p.m. on Tuesday, a Wicomico County Sheriff’s Deputy located and arrested Stephen James Wilson, 21, of Hebron in connection with a strong-armed robbery that had occurred last week. The investigation revealed Wilson engaged in a physical confrontation with a victim who is a paraplegic and confined to a wheel chair.

According to police reports, Wilson allegedly wrestled the victim to the ground and robbed him of his oxycodone pills before fleeing the area on foot. After identifying Wilson as the suspect in the attack, the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office obtained an arrest warrant and located Wilson and took him into custody without incident. After an initial appearance before a District Court Commissioner, Wilson is being held on a $75,000 bond.

Guilty Plea In Robbery

SNOW HILL — A Berlin man arrested in November on multiple charges after holding up a woman at gunpoint at an apartment complex pleaded guilty last week to armed robbery and now awaits his fate pending the outcome of a pre-sentence investigation.

Around 10:45 p.m. on Nov. 2, 2012, Berlin Police arrested Lavar D. Harmon, 20, of Berlin, and charged him with armed robbery and first-degree assault. Harmon was accused of robbing a Berlin woman at gunpoint on the morning of Nov. 2 near the Bay Terrace Apartment Complex. Harmon was also charged with second-degree assault and theft.