Alleged Dealer Busted

BERLIN — A Berlin man was arrested on drug dealing and weapons charges last week after local law enforcement executed two search and seizure warrants at different apartment complexes.

Last Thursday, members of the Worcester County Criminal Enforcement Team executed two search and seizure warrants simultaneously at two residences in Berlin following a three-month investigation into an alleged marijuana distribution operation. The two residences targeted with the warrants were located at the Decatur Apartments on Old Ocean City Blvd. and the Homes of Berlin Apartments on Flower Street.

As a result of the execution of the warrants, 189 grams of marijuana, three grams of crack cocaine and various items of paraphernalia including materials used in packaging marijuana for sale were seized. Also seized was a semi-automatic handgun. Charles L. Johnson, 25, of Berlin, was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and crack cocaine, possession with intent to distribute marijuana and crack cocaine, unlawful possession of a regulated firearm and possession of a firearm during a drug-trafficking crime. Johnson was taken before a District Court Commissioner and was ordered to be held on a $100,000 bond.

Two-Year Probe Nets Drugs

OCEAN CITY — An Edgewood, Md. man was arrested on drug distribution and weapons charges this week after a multi-agency investigation located him in Ocean City.

Around 6 a.m. on Tuesday, the Ocean City Police Department and the Worcester County Sheriff’s Criminal Enforcement Team concluded a two-year investigation with the serving of multiple search warrants in Ocean City, West Ocean City and Berlin. The target of investigation, identified as Jerry Lee Hurt, 37, of Edgewood, Md., was located in Ocean City and arrested after police recovered items while executing search warrants at a Berlin residence. The items included two handguns, oxycodone tablets, crack cocaine and heroin.

Hurt was charged with possession and possession with intent to distribute heroin, cocaine and oxycodone and was also charged with two counts of possession of a firearm during a drug-trafficking offense. Hurt was taken before a District Court Commissioner and was ordered to be held on a $100,000 bond before being transferred to the Worcester County Jail.

Driver Leaves Road, Strikes Pole

BERLIN — A local man was arrested on drunk driving and other charges last weekend after losing control of his vehicle and crashing into a utility pole on St. Martin’s Neck Rd.

Around 5:20 p.m. last Sunday, Maryland State Police troopers responded to a reported single-vehicle collision with no injuries on St. Martin’s Neck Rd. at Shell Mill Rd. Upon arrival, troopers discovered the driver, Mark Kauffman, 61, had failed to maintain control of his Volvo C30. The Volvo then struck a utility pole and left the roadway before coming to rest in a field. During the investigation, it was determined Kauffman was operating the vehicle under the influence of alcohol. He was subsequently arrested and charged with DUI and related traffic collision violations.

Untaxed Cigarettes Seized

BERLIN — A New York man was arrested last week for possession of nearly 200 cartons of unstamped cigarettes after getting pulled over for speeding along Route 113 near Bishopville.

Around 8:15 a.m. last Wednesday, a Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputy on patrol in the area of Route 113 and Kepler Lane in Bishopville observed a silver mini-van going an estimated 65 miles per hour in a 55 mph zone. The deputy initiated a traffic stop and made contact with the driver, later identified as Chak Wah Kong, 44, of New York. Upon making contact with Kong, the deputy observed the

suspect became very nervous with his hands shaking and he began to sweat, according to police reports.

The deputy observed numerous large black garbage bags in the rear portion of the mini-van. When questioned, Kong told police he was traveling from Virginia and that there was fruit in the plastic bags. However, the deputy was able to look through the rear window and observe a white bag with the ends of five or six cartons of Marlboro cigarettes sticking out.

The deputy returned to the vehicle and asked Kong about the cigarettes in the white bag and Kong allegedly told the officer he smoked. However, because of Kong’s nervous actions and the presence of the cartons of cigarettes, a probable cause search was conducted, revealing 190 cartons of unstamped, untaxed cigarettes in the van.

Metal Pipe Thwarts Hold-Up

SALISBURY — A Salisbury man was arrested on attempted armed robbery and drug charges this week after allegedly trying to hold up a convenience store before being chased from the establishment by a clerk with a metal pipe.

Around 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Salisbury Police responded to the Express Mart on N. Salisbury Blvd. for a reported armed robbery. The investigation revealed a suspect had entered the store and approached the clerk with his hand concealed in his jacket. The suspect then made gestures toward the clerk as if he had a weapon and demanded currency.

The clerk then retrieved a metal pipe from behind the counter and chased the suspect out of the store. Salisbury Police reviewed the video surveillance of the incident and broadcast a description of the suspect and began canvassing the area. About an hour later, Salisbury Police located a suspect matching the description, later identified as Shane O’Neil Banks, 39, of Salisbury, in the area of Baker Street and Naylor Street. The clerk was brought to the scene and identified Banks as the suspect.

A search incident to the arrest revealed a smoking device with suspected cocaine. No one was injured during the incident, nor was any money taken. Banks was charged with attempted armed robbery, attempted robbery, possession of cocaine and possession of paraphernalia.

Robbery Suspects Sought

SALISBURY — Salisbury Police this week are looking for two suspects wanted in connection with an armed robbery of a fast-food restaurant on Monday during which employees were told to remove their pants before being tied up.

Shortly before 1 a.m. on Monday, Salisbury Police responded to the Burger King on Naylor Mill Rd. for a reported armed robbery. The investigation revealed two unknown suspects approached an employee at the rear door when he was taking out the trash. The suspects then both displayed handguns and ordered the employee back inside the business.

The suspects then approached the manager and demanded money from the cash registers and safe. The manager was struck several times in the head when he was unable to open the safe. The suspects then instructed both employees to remove their pants and shoes before tying up their hands and feet. The suspects then took an undisclosed amount of money from the business and the employees.

The suspects then exited the building through the rear door and fled the scene in a vehicle parked nearby. The vehicle is described as a dark-colored four-door sedan and was last seen traveling west on Naylor Mill Rd. The employees were able to untie themselves and notify the police. One of the employees was treated at PRMC for minor head injuries and was released.

The first suspect is described as a light-skin African-American male about 5’11 to 6’2” with a stocky build wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black mask and gloves. The second suspect basically matched the description of the first although he had darker skin and a thinner build. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Salisbury Police at 410-548-3165, or Crime Solvers at 410-548-1776.