Three Sleepers Caught With Weapons, Drugs

OCEAN CITY — Three men were arrested on marijuana possession and weapons charges last week after Ocean City Police found them sleeping in a car on 5th Street early in the morning.

Around 5:50 a.m. last Sunday, Ocean City Police observed a vehicle parked on 5th Street with three individuals sleeping inside, in violation of a city ordinance. As the officers approached the vehicle and woke the individuals, an odor of marijuana could be smelled from inside the vehicle. After requesting permission to conduct a search, OCPD officers located marijuana, MDMA, a concealed knife and a loaded .38 special revolver.

All three occupants were then arrested. Tyrone Winston Lee, 25, of Plymouth, Pa., and Desmond James Matthews, 22, of Willingboro, N.J., were each charged with having a handgun in a vehicle, possession of marijuana and MDMA and possession of paraphernalia. Malcolm Bates, 22, of Plymouth, Pa., was charged with possession of a handgun, possession of a concealed deadly weapon and possession of marijuana and MDMA.

Stiff Sentence For Grinch

SNOW HILL — The second of two Virginia men arrested last December after a failed attempt to steal Christmas presents from a residence in Pocomoke pleaded guilty this week to first-degree burglary and was sentenced to 10 years in jail, all but three of which were then suspended.

Around 10 a.m. on Dec. 21, a Worcester County resident returned to his home in Pocomoke to find an unfamiliar vehicle in his backyard and the back door of the house standing open and immediately contacted the authorities. Deputies from the Worcester County Sheriff’s Officer immediately responded, as did the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation.

The first deputies on the scene determined the suspects were no longer in the residence and had just recently fled the scene when the victim returned home. Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies, with assistance from the Pocomoke Police Department, the Maryland State Police and Maryland Natural Resources Police quickly formed a perimeter and began a search for the suspects while the WCBI detectives began to process the scene.

It was determined the suspects had kicked in the back door to the home. The entire house was ransacked and the suspects took firearms, computers, televisions, and jewelry. Many of the items taken were to be given as Christmas presents. Detectives later discovered the stolen property in the trunk of the vehicle still parked in the victim’s backyard.

Two suspects, identified as Shaquille Gaskins, 19, of Belle Haven, Va., and Antwan Dawson, 23, of Eastville, Va., were subsequently apprehended, while a third suspect, identified as Antonio Austin, 26, of Onley, Va., was able to flee the scene and return to Virginia. An arrest warrant was obtained for Austin, who was quickly apprehended by police in Virginia and later extradited to Worcester to face first-degree burglary and other charges.

On Monday, Dawson pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary and was sentenced to 10 years in jail, all but three of which were then suspended. Gaskins pleaded guilty and received the same sentence in June. Austin is scheduled to appear for trial in September.

No New Jail Time
For Vehicle Assault

SNOW HILL — A Bridgeville man arrested in January on various charges after intentionally trying to run over a man and a woman after an altercation at a Masonic Lodge party in Berlin plead out last week and was sentenced to five years in jail, all but about six months of which was suspended.

Shortly before 11 p.m. on Jan. 5, Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the area of the Masonic Lodge on Trappe Rd. in Berlin for a report of pedestrians that had been struck by a vehicle. Berlin Police and Maryland State Police also responded and assisted with the investigation.

A general description of the vehicle, a silver Toyota Tacoma, was broadcast and Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) were able to stop the vehicle on Trappe Rd. a short time later. A witness to the collision was brought to the scene of the stop and identified the vehicle and one of its passengers, Cedrick Lamar Fooks, 20, of Bridgeville, who was allegedly driving at the time of the collision with the pedestrians. The witness told police Fooks swerved into the victims, striking them intentionally.

Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Fooks and charged him with first- and second-degree assault and driving without a license. Worcester County Bureau of Investigations (WCBI) detectives interviewed Fooks and learned the suspect had traveled with three companions to attend a party at the Masonic Lodge in Berlin. Fooks got into a physical altercation with another man at the party, who was later one of the victims of the vehicle collision.

After the altercation, Fooks got into the truck and began driving up and down the road until he observed the male victim he had fought with moments earlier. Fooks then directed the truck at the man and his female companion, striking both. Last week, Fooks entered an Alford plea to second-degree assault. In an Alford plea, a defendant does not plead guilty, but acknowledges the state has enough evidence to prosecute the case.

He was sentenced to five years in jail, all but five months and 27 days of which were then suspended. Fooks was given credit for time served while awaiting trial, which was five months and 27 days, resulting in no new jail time. He was placed on probation for two years and fined $300, and was also ordered to pay nearly $4,000 in combined restitution to the victims.

14 Days For Pot Dealing

SNOW HILL — A New Jersey man, arrested on marijuana distribution charges after getting pulled over for speeding in Berlin in January, pleaded guilty this week to possession with intent to distribute and was sentenced to one year in jail, all but 14 days of which was then suspended.

Around 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 6, a Maryland State Police trooper pulled over a vehicle for excessive speeding on southbound Route 113 near Route 575. While approaching the vehicle, the trooper detected a strong odor of raw marijuana. A subsequent probable cause search revealed nearly 239 grams of marijuana along with over $10,000 in cash in a white and red duffle bag located in the trunk of the vehicle.

The front right passenger, identified as William J. Schooley, Jr., 29, of Williamstown, N.J., claimed sole ownership of the marijuana and the cash. He was arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute and possession of paraphernalia. This week, Schooley pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute and was sentenced to one year, all but 14 days of which was suspended. He was also placed on probation for two years.

Pot Found At Traffic Stop

BERLIN — A New York man was arrested on marijuana possession charges last week after a traffic stop on Route 113 in Berlin.

Around 8 a.m. last Monday, a Worcester County Sheriff’s deputy stopped a vehicle on Route 113 in Berlin for failing to slow down or make a lane change to an available lane when approaching an emergency vehicle with its emergency lights on, a relatively new law in Maryland, and for following too closely. As the deputy approached the vehicle, the strong odor of marijuana was detected. A subsequent search revealed a quantity of marijuana and the driver, identified as Devon Winston Baron, 22, of New York, N.Y. was arrested and charged with possession.