Three Years For Berlin Gunslinger

Three Years For Berlin Gunslinger

SNOW HILL — A Berlin man arrested in April on multiple charges after running in and out of businesses in the downtown area displaying a handgun pleaded guilty last week and was sentenced to seven years, all but three of which were then suspended.

Around 10 p.m. on April 8, Berlin Police responded to the area of Pitts Street for a report of an individual walking around with a handgun. Berlin Police and Worcester County Sheriff’s deputies responded but were not able to immediately locate the individual.

During an interview with the complainant, Berlin Police were able to identify the suspect as Robert Wayne Bassett, 29, of Berlin. Bassett was reported to have been in a downtown business at which time he pulled a handgun from his waistband and displayed it, disturbing several of the patrons at the establishment.

As officers continued to search for Bassett, he was observed running into a different business. Officers surrounded the building in order to approach Bassett, who ran out of the business as officers were about to make entry. Bassett observed the officers and turned around and ran back into the business while drawing a handgun from his waistband.

Officers observed Bassett throw the handgun down to the ground inside the business. He was then taken into custody without further incident. Berlin Police recovered the .45 caliber handgun Bassett had thrown.

During a search of his person, Bassett was found to be wearing a holster inside his pants. He was also found to be in possession of several containers of marijuana. Berlin Police checked and determined Bassett was prohibited from possessing regulated firearms.

During the subsequent investigation, sufficient evidence was collected to indicate Bassett was involved in the distribution of controlled dangerous substances, specifically marijuana. As a result, Bassett was charged with multiple weapons violations including carrying a handgun, carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, possession of a handgun during the commission of a felony, reckless endangerment and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

Last Thursday, Bassett pleaded guilty to possession of firearms and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. He was sentenced to seven years, with all but three suspended. He was also placed on supervised probation for three years upon his release and fined $500.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.