Jail For Grinch

SNOW HILL — The third of three men arrested last December after a failed attempt to swipe Christmas presents from a residence in Pocomoke pleaded guilty last week to first-degree burglary and was sentenced to 15 years in jail, all but three of which were then suspended.
Around 10 a.m. last 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.
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. Austin was later extradited to Worcester County to face charges.
Last week, Austin pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree burglary and was sentenced to 15 years in jail. Twelve years of the sentence was then suspended and Austin was placed on probation for five years upon his release. He was also ordered to pay $1,100 in restitution to the victim.
In June, Gaskins was pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 years with all but three years suspended. Dawson also pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary in July and was sentenced to 10 years with all but three years suspended.

Loaded Handgun Sentence
OCEAN CITY — A Waldorf, Md. man, arrested in June on numerous weapons charges after being found in possession of a loaded handgun while riding as a passenger in a vehicle pulled over for a routine traffic stop in Ocean City, pleaded guilty last week to wearing or carrying a handgun and was sentenced to one year in jail, all but one month of which was then suspended.
Around 10 p.m. on June 15, Ocean City Police conducted a traffic stop in the area of 127th Street. During the stop, the officers detected the odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle. The occupants of the vehicle, including the driver, were removed from the car while OCPD officers investigated the origin of the suspicious odor.
Once they were outside of the vehicle, the occupants were patted down by OCPD officers. One of the passengers, identified as David Lavell Wiggins, 22, of Waldorf, was found to be in possession of a loaded 9mm semi-automatic handgun. Wiggins, who did not a have a permit to carry the weapon, was arrested and charged with possession of a handgun.
Last week, Wiggins pleaded guilty to one count of wearing or carrying a handgun and was sentenced to one year in jail, all but one month of which was suspended. He was also placed on probation for three years and fined $500.

Guilty Plea In Berlin Assault
SNOW HILL — An Eden man, arrested in August after breaking into an apartment on Bay Street in Berlin and assaulting three individuals during a burglary attempt, pleaded guilty this week in District Court to one count of second-degree assault and was sentenced to 90 days in jail.
Around 12:35 a.m. on Aug. 4, Berlin Police responded to Bay Street for a reported burglary in progress. When officers arrived, they observed the suspect, later identified as Jason Lee Payne, 21, of Eden, standing outside one of the apartment units. According to police reports, when Payne saw the officers approaching him on foot, he allegedly forced his way into the unit and assaulted its three occupants.
After a brief struggle, Berlin Police tazed Payne and he was taken into custody. During a search incident to the arrest, a fixed blade knife was found on Payne’s person. Payne was found to have multiple felony count warrants through the Maryland State Police Princess Anne barrack for an incident that had occurred earlier in the week. Payne was charged with first-degree burglary, three counts of second-degree assault and carrying a concealed weapon. On Tuesday in District Court, Payne pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree assault and was sentenced to 90 days in jail. He was also fined $200.

Armed Robbery Spree
SALISBURY — Salisbury Police this week are looking for the suspect or suspects wanted in connection with a spree of armed robberies at different locations around the city early last Thursday morning.
Around 1:08 last Thursday, Salisbury Police responded to Thirsty’s on E. Church Street for a reported armed robbery. The investigation revealed the victim had closed the business for the night and was walking to his vehicle when two suspects approached him. The victim told police one of the suspects was in possession of a handgun.
The victim attempted to run away from the suspects, but stumbled and fell on the ground, dropping a bag containing personal property. The suspects took the bag and fled the area on foot. A K-9 search was conducted but the suspects were not found.
One suspect is described as an African-American male, roughly 5’8” and 160 pounds with a thin build, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and black pants and was in possession of a handgun. The second suspect was described with a similar height and weight and was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt. The third suspect was described only as wearing dark clothing.
Less than an hour later, Salisbury Police responded to another reported strong-armed robbery in the area of Vine Street. The investigation revealed a victim was walking alone when a suspect approached him from behind. The suspect punched the victim in the head, knocking him to the ground. The suspect then demanded the victim’s money and cell phone before fleeing on foot.
The victim was transported to PRMC for treatment of a head injury. The suspect in that case is described as an African-American male, around 26 years of age, about 5’8” with a thin build, wearing a long-sleeved white T-shirt at the time of the incident.
A third incident occurred about 20 minutes later at 2:15 a.m. at the Royal Farms store on S. Division Street. The investigation revealed two suspects entered the store wearing ski masks. One of the suspects was armed with a handgun and demanded money from the clerk. The clerk placed the cash register drawer on the counter and the second suspect removed the money. Each of the suspects in that incident are described as an African-American males about 5’8” tall with thin builds.