OCEAN CITY — Illustrating how the growing heroin scourge in the area is affecting entire families, or maybe illustrating the apple truly doesn’t fall very far from the tree, a father and son were arrested on heroin possession and distribution charges last weekend on the same day in separate incidents.
Around 9:30 a.m. last Saturday, an Ocean City police officer was dispatched to check on the welfare of an individual slumped over in his vehicle parked behind a store on 33rd Street. The officer arrived on the scene and observed a male suspect, later identified as Thomas Chris Kranias, 24, of Ocean City, seated in the driver’s seat with the ignition on and the vehicle in park.
According to police reports, Kranias’ head was slumped over his chest with saliva hanging from his mouth. The officer opened the door and Kranias opened his eyes and appeared to be dazed. When asked if he was having a medical problem, Kranias told police he was okay. The officer asked Kranias to step out of the vehicle and asked if he had anything on him or in the vehicle he shouldn’t have and Kranias reportedly said no and told the officer to search his vehicle. When asked if the officer could search his person, Kranias consented and put his hands in the air.
In Kranias’ front shorts pocket, the officer located a partially torn piece of blue wax paper consistent with how heroin is packaged. The officer then searched the vehicle and located several similar pieces of torn wax paper stamped in red ink with the word “Tyson” and an image similar to a boxer. Inside the blue wax paper packages was suspected heroin. At that point, Kranias was arrested for possession of heroin.
During the vehicle search, the officer located a duffel bag in the trunk with a handgun inside wrapped in a small towel. The handgun was a Smith and Wesson .357 magnum which was not loaded. There was a box of 20 rounds of ammunition in the duffel bag with the handgun, however. It was later revealed Kranias did not have a concealed gun carry permit.
A little more than 12 hours later, the suspect’s father was arrested on heroin possession charges after a similar incident at the parking lot of the Public Safety Building on 65th Street. Just before 10 p.m. last Saturday, a welfare check was ordered on an individual, later identified as Chris Thomas Kranias, 55, of Gettysburg, Pa., who was slumped over and appeared to be sleeping in his Chevy Camaro.
As one officer attempted to wake the elder Kranias up, the other officer walked around to the passenger side where he observed multiple small Baggies banded together consistent with how heroin is packaged. The officers had Kranias step out of the vehicle and placed him under arrest. A search of the vehicle turned up 59 small bags in the center console. Six of the small baggies contained pieces of blue wax paper stamped with the word “Rocky” on them, while the other 53 bags were stamped with the word “Tyson.”
The 59 bags were in four bundles held together by small rubber bands. Inside the small wax paper bags was an off-white powdery substance known to be heroin. In addition, OCPD officer located nine more similarly packaged Baggies of suspected heroin in one bundle held together with a rubber band on the ground where Kranias had exited the vehicle that weren’t there when the officer first made contact with the suspect.
The father, Chris Thomas Kranias, was charged with possession and possession with intent to distribute heroin and was later released on a $2,500 bond. The son, Thomas Chris Kranias, was charged with possession of heroin and possession of a handgun in a vehicle.