Willards Man Arrested On Child Sex Offenses

SNOW HILL — A Willards man was arrested on multiple counts of sex offense and child abuse this week after a Worcester County grand jury indicted him following a months-long investigation.
On Wednesday, the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI) and the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office arrested David Wayne Tatman, 56, and charged him with two counts of third-degree sex offense, two counts of child abuse by a custodian, one count of second-degree child abuse and one count of unnatural or perverted practice. The arrest came after a months-long investigation that began when one of Tatman’s alleged former victims filed a report with the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office.
Through further investigation, evidence was obtained that allegedly corroborated the victim’s story and indicated Tatman had indeed committed the alleged offenses. The case was then presented to the Worcester County grand jury, which resulted in an arrest warrant for Tatman.
Tatman was arrested on Wednesday and was remanded to the custody of the Worcester County Jail on a $200,000 bond. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Oct. 16.

Pink Pig Swiped
SNOW HILL — The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office this week is seeking the public’s help in identifying the suspect or suspects who swiped a large, metal pink pig sculpture from Furnace Town sometime last week.
On Sept. 26, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office responded to Furnace Town in Snow Hill for a reported theft. The responding deputy learned a large, metal “pink pig” had been removed from the property overnight. It was also determined the pink pig has an identical twin that was still on the property.
The sheriff’s office this week is asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect or suspects who removed the sculpture or the whereabouts of the pink pig. The employees of Furnace Town are hoping to have it returned unharmed as they prepare for the upcoming Celtic Festival. The pig is described as being about three to four feet long and about two feet wide. It is extremely heavy and likely would have taken at least two persons to remove it.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 410-632-1112.

Registered Offender
Caught At School
BERLIN — A Berlin resident and registered sex offender was arrested on Tuesday afternoon after illegally entering the school grounds during a Stephen Decatur soccer match against Snow Hill.
Shortly after 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies responded to Stephen Decatur High School for a report of a known registered sex offender on school grounds.
The deputies quickly located the suspect, identified as Robert Landis, 67, of Berlin. Landis was found inside the gated stadium field during an active school soccer game.
Landis is a Tier II registered sex offender and he is forbidden from being on the property of any school of primary or secondary education. He was arrested and taken before a District Court Commissioner before being released on a $10,000 bond.

Weed Pipeline Suspect Sentenced
SNOW HILL — One of three local men arrested in June after a months-long investigation identified them as suspects in an alleged pipeline of marijuana from California to Worcester County pleaded guilty this week and was sentenced to three years in jail, much of which was suspended in favor of probation and a hefty fine.
In June, a joint local, state and federal drug investigation conducted over a period of about six months resulted in the arrest of three local residents allegedly involved in the transportation of a significant amount of marijuana from California to Worcester. Members of the Worcester County Criminal Enforcement Team, along with the Ocean City Narcotics Unit, the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), concluded a six-month marijuana distribution investigation with a significant pot bust.
During the course of the investigation, a suspect identified as Michael Gates, 24, of Bishopville, was monitored as he traveled back and forth from the Redding, Ca. area to Worcester County. Gates is believed to have been facilitating the transportation and shipments of numerous packages of high-grade marijuana from California to Maryland.
During the month of May, the Worcester County Criminal Enforcement Team executed multiple search and seizure warrants at various residences and a storage facility in the county that Gates used to facilitate his alleged operation. At the conclusion of the investigation, a total of 7.5 pounds of marijuana was seized along with roughly $30,000 in cash.
Gates was arrested and charged with possession and possession with intent to distribute marijuana. Also arrested was David J. Gates, 28, of Bishopville, who charged with possession and possession with intent to distribute marijuana. In addition, Michael T. Herr, 23, of Berlin, was arrested and charged with possession and possession with intent to distribute marijuana and faces the same charges.
On Tuesday, David Gates pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana and possession with intent to distribute marijuana. He was sentenced to three years in jail, all but four months of which were then suspended. He was also placed on probation for three years and fined $1,000. Herr is scheduled to appear for trial next week, while Michael Gates is scheduled to appear for trial on Nov. 12.

Speeding Stop Leads To Pot
BERLIN — A Newark woman was arrested on drug charges last week after the car in which she was a passenger was pulled over for speeding in northern Worcester County.
Around 10:30 a.m. last Friday, a Worcester County Sheriff’s deputy conducted a traffic stop after observing a vehicle traveling 82 mph in a 55 mph zone. When approaching the vehicle, the deputy detected the strong odor of burnt marijuana coming from inside the passenger compartment.
A probable cause search was conducted and the deputy found a black purse on the passenger side floor. Inside the purse were several smoking devices and a baggie of marijuana. The owner of the purse and front side passenger was identified as Imami Nicole Thomas, 19, of Newark, Del. Thomas was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia. The operator of the vehicle was issued a citation for speeding.