SNOW HILL — An Ocean Pines man, arrested last January on armed robbery, assault and other serious charges after first portraying himself as a police officer at a West Ocean City trading post that sells guns and later threatening a female victim with a rifle at an ATM, pleaded guilty last week to various counts and was sentenced to 15 years in jail, all but nine of which were then suspended.
Around 7:30 p.m. last Jan. 8, Maryland State Police troopers and Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a silent alarm activation at Larry’s Trading Post in West Ocean City. Once officers arrived on the scene, they learned a white male wearing a black suit, black hat and black gloves entered the store, identified himself as a police officer and requested to inspect some of the handguns in the establishment.
The store owner did not observe a police badge or any other police credentials, nor did the owner observe the suspect wearing a handgun on his hip. The store owner became suspicious and asked to see the suspect’s credentials and activated the store’s silent alarm. The suspect told the store owner he needed to go to his vehicle and then quickly left the area in a white 2014 Dodge Avenger.
Later around 11:50 p.m. on the same night, a female individual pulled up to an ATM machine at a bank on Racetrack Rd. to withdraw money. The female victim observed a white male exit a white 2014 Dodge Avenger and approach her at the ATM machine carrying a black rifle with a scope. In fear, the victim fled the area and contacted local law enforcement, reporting what had just occurred.
An all-points bulletin was broadcast and the Dodge Avenger was stopped by a Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputy a short time later. The suspect was identified as Cory C. Richardson, 29, of Ocean Pines. Richardson was arrested and taken to the Sheriff’s Office for questioning by the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI), which connected him to both incidents.
Richardson was charged with armed robbery, first-degree assault, impersonating an officer, reckless endangerment, the use of a firearm in the commission of a violent crime and other weapons charges. Last week, he pleaded guilty to armed robbery and was sentenced to 15 years, all but nine of which were then suspended. He also pleaded guilty to impersonating a police officer and was sentenced to two years for that count, which was also suspended. Richardson was placed on probation for five years upon his release.
Heroin Dealer Sentenced
SNOW HILL — A heroin dealer, arrested by Ocean City Police last November, pleaded guilty last week in Worcester County Circuit Court to possession with intent to distribute and was sentenced to 10 years in jail, all but six of which were then suspended.
Last Nov. 8, the Ocean City Police Narcotics Unit, with the help of the Special Enforcement Unit, concluded a heroin distribution investigation with the arrest of Timmy Morris, 30, of no fixed address. Morris was arrested after a three-week undercover operation during with detectives made purchases of heroin from the suspect. OCPD officers arrested Morris in the area of 58th Street and Coastal Highway without incident.
At the time of his arrest, Morris was found to be in possession of 39 bags of heroin, a small amount of crack cocaine and over $300 in currency. Last week, Morris pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute heroin and was sentenced to 10 years in jail. All but six years of the sentence was then suspended and Morris was placed on probation for three years upon his release and fined $1,000.
Charges Dropped In Alleged Rifle Assault
SNOW HILL — A Berlin man, arrested and charged with first-degree assault and other counts in January after allegedly firing a rifle at his brother during a domestic dispute, had the charges against him dropped last week in Worcester County Circuit Court.
On Jan. 27, Maryland State Police troopers were dispatched to a residence on Griffin Rd. in Berlin for a reported domestic situation involving a firearm. Upon arrival, troopers learned a suspect, later identified as John Anthony Coiner, 55, of Berlin, and his brother, who also lives at the residence, had been involved in a verbal altercation.
The investigation revealed Coiner then pointed a .22 caliber long rifle in the direction of the victim and fired a single shot. The victim was not injured and called 911. The rifle was located and inside the chamber was a live round. A fired, empty .22 caliber shell casing was found on the living room floor.
Coiner was arrested without further incident and was charged with first-degree assault and reckless endangerment. Last week in Circuit Court, Coiner had the charges against him nolle prossed, or not prosecuted.
Cocaine Dealer Sentenced
SNOW HILL — One of several suspects rounded up during sweeping raids from one end of Worcester County to the other in late January pleaded guilty last week to possession with intent to distribute cocaine and a weapons charge and was sentenced to eight years, all but three of which were then suspended.
In late January, Worcester’s Criminal Enforcement Team, a highly specialized drug enforcement unit of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, executed four coordinated search and seizure warrants resulting in the seizure of marijuana, crack cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and assault weapons. Working together with local, state and federal partners, the Criminal Enforcement Team concluded a two-month investigation with three simultaneous warrant executions in Pocomoke and a fourth in Bishopville.
In total, 926 grams of marijuana, 12 grams of crack cocaine, 27 individual bags of heroin and two tablets of ecstasy were recovered. In addition one Intra-Tec 9 assault pistol, one Smith and Wesson .39 caliber revolver and one Hi Point .40 caliber carbine were also recovered during the raids.
Among those arrested were Clement Lee Johnson, 31, of Bishopville, who was charged with possession of marijuana, crack cocaine, ecstasy and heroin, possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and heroin, two counts of possession of a firearm during a drug-trafficking crime and possession of a stolen firearm.
Last week, Johnson pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute cocaine and was sentenced to eight years in jail, all but three of which were suspended. Johnson was also sentenced to two years for the handgun charge, which was also suspended. Johnson is now scheduled to serve three years total, and will be on probation for three years upon his release. He was also fined $1,000.
Hit-and-Run Leads To Drunk Driving Arrest
WEST OCEAN CITY — A Clarksville, Md. man was arrested on drunk-driving and hit-and-run charges this week after allegedly striking another vehicle in a parking lot and leaving the scene.
Around 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Maryland State Police troopers with the assistance of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to the area of Bowline Lane in West Ocean City for a reported hit-and-run collision. The investigation revealed a driver, later identified as Ryan Littleton Orndorff, 30, of Clarksville, was operating a 2008 Ford pick-up when he struck another vehicle while attempting to park.
The owners of the struck vehicle witnessed the collision and confronted Orndorff as he attempted to drive away, but he was able to leave the scene prior to the arrival of the police. Orndorff attempted to conceal the location of the vehicle he was operating, but it was found a short time later on the far side of the condominium complex. Orndorff exhibited signs of impairment and was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. He submitted to a breath test, which yielded a result of .22.
Suspended Sentence In Lion Statue Theft
OCEAN CITY- An Ocean City man arrested in July for swiping a large concrete lion statue from in front of a downtown hotel pleaded guilty last week to theft under $1,000 and was sentenced to six months in jail, all of which was suspended in favor of paying over $1,500 in restitution to the victim.
Around 2:15 a.m. on July 7, Ocean City Police responded to a residence on 7th Street and Edgewater Ave. for a reported noise violation. As the officers were walking up the steps to the apartment unit, they observed a four-foot tall white ornate statue sitting in the middle of the living room. The Colonel Arms Luxury Suites owner had reported the large, heavy statue missing a day earlier after noticing it had been taken around 11:30 a.m. on July 6.
The officers approached the front door of the unit and asked for the identification of the individuals on the lease to begin processing the noise complaint. The officers also told the occupants they wanted to know how and where the stolen lion statue arrived at their unit and who was responsible. The tenants told police they had a party the night before and a couple of very intoxicated guests had brought the lion to their apartment.
At that point, an individual later identified as Sadiq Sola-Rufai, 25, of Ocean City, told the officers he was about to return the lion just before police arrived. The officers observed the lion statue in the living room between a couch and a chair. It had a red bandana on its head and its eyes had been colored red and green with a marker. There were also various items of clothing piled around its base.
The officers interviewed Sola-Rufai, who admitted he and another unidentified male had been drinking the night before and swiped the lion after being urged to do so by other individuals at the party.
“A couple of the kids nearby had dared me to do it,” said Sola-Rufai in his written statement to the police about the incident. “I was pretty intoxicated, so I proceeded to carry the lion down the street. I would like the owner to know I did intend on returning it today and I am sorry about the commotion.”
Sola-Rufia was arrested and charged with theft and malicious destruction of property, the latter because the statue’s eyes had been colored with markers and could not be cleaned off. The statue was valued at roughly $10,000 by the owner, who told police when she purchased the property, she had to pay $10,000 to keep the lion. The lion was returned to the owner and placed back from whence it was taken.
Last week in District Court, Sola-Rufia pleaded guilty to theft under $1,000 and was sentenced to six months in jail, all of which was suspended. He was then ordered to pay $1,538.60 in restitution to the victim.