Cops & Courts – January 26, 2024

Fake Drug Dealer Sentenced

SNOW HILL – A Delaware man was sentenced to 13 years in jail this month for unlawful possession of a firearm while dealing fake heroin and fentanyl.

cops mug Quaire Johnson

Quaire T. Johnson

On Friday, Jan. 12, Quaire T. Johnson, 30, of Magnolia, Del., was sentenced to 13 years in the Division of Corrections for his conviction on the charges of possession with intent to distribute a fake controlled dangerous substance, possession of a non-controlled substance and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. He was found guilty in the Worcester County Circuit Court on Aug. 9, 2023. Judged Beau H. Oglesby presided over the case and imposed the sentence.

The charges arose as a result of police conducting a traffic stop on a vehicle for a registration violation in the area of Route 113 near Bishopville Road in May of 2021. While speaking with the occupants of the vehicle, including Johnson, deputies with the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office detected the odor of cannabis coming from the inside of the vehicle. Deputies searched the vehicle and located 234 individual wax folds of suspected heroin-fentanyl, trace amounts of cannabis, a loaded pistol, ammunition and firearm magazines. Laboratory testing of the contents of the wax folds by the Maryland State Police confirmed the substance was similar in appearance to a heroin-fentanyl mixture but was not actually a controlled dangerous substance as initially suspected.

Further investigation revealed that Johnson was prohibited from possessing firearms due to a prior felony conviction in Delaware. Johnson was arrested on scene and charged accordingly.

In a press release announcing the sentencing, Worcester County State’s Attorney Kris Heiser thanked the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office for the department’s proactive drug and gun enforcement efforts, which led to the seizure of the firearm in this case. Heiser also commended Assistant State’s Attorney Joaquin Cabrera who prosecuted the case.


Fight At School

SNOW HILL – The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office was alerted to a fight last Thursday during a high school basketball game.

After the varsity basketball game between Snow Hill and Stephen Decatur last Thursday, an isolated fight took place in the hallway outside the gym. According to a press release from the Sheriff’s office, “This resulted in a disruption in the orderly exit of patrons attending the game. During this time additional fights occurred resulting in additional law enforcement personnel being requested by deputies on the scene.”

The investigation continues as of Monday, according to the statement. “The investigation that began that evening continues today as we are reviewing an enormous amount of video to identify those involved. As the investigation continues and at the appropriate time, charges will be requested and filed,” the statement read.

Agencies assisting were the Snow Hill Police Department, Pocomoke Police Department, Berlin Police Department, Maryland State Police and Department of Nature Resources.


Charges, Then More Charges

OCEAN CITY – For one Maryland man, two separate run-ins with law enforcement within seven hours resulted in an open container of alcohol violation, driving while impaired charges, an illegal weapon being seized and a dozen traffic offenses.

The first encounter with Ocean City police for James Hereford, 42, of Crownsville, took place Sunday, Jan. 21 around 8 p.m. when officers observed a suspected speeding gray vehicle traveling southbound on Coastal Highway. The responding officer attempted to follow the vehicle to determine the rate of speed when it suddenly left the roadway and stopped at a convenience store gas pump. The officer noticed a brake light was out on the vehicle, according to the police report.

The responding officer conducted a wanted and registration check on the vehicle and learned the tag on the 2004 Izuzu Rodeo was registered to a 2010 Ford Fusion. A traffic stop was then initiated with Hereford identified as the driver.

Police noted the motorist’s speech was slurred and he was unable to produce his license, registration and insurance. Police noted an open bottle of Lukususowa Vodka in the backseat. Hereford admitted to drinking four hours ago, per the police report. Police noted Hereford was uncooperative throughout the discussion, admitting eventually to purchasing the vehicle for $1,000 recently but unable to explain the inconsistent registration. Due to his combative state, Hereford was not subjected to a field sobriety check, but officers noted in the report the clear smell of alcohol.

Police conducted a computer license check and discovered Hereford had his license revoked in 2019 for point accumulation and multiple driving under the influence arrests. Hereford was placed under arrest for driving with an open container of alcohol, possession of an illegal knife per municipal code, driving a vehicle while impaired by alcohol and numerous traffic offenses.

Less than seven hours later around 2:44 a.m. on Jan. 22, the same Izuzu Rodeo was discovered by police in a parking lot with no registration plate and no insurance information. The responding officer noted in his report that the vehicle’s driver, Hereford, had been arrested earlier in the evening and that a condition of his pre-trial release from the Ocean City District Court commissioner was “do not drive without license” and “not engage in criminal activity.”

The officer watched as Hereford entered the vehicle and drive on Coastal Highway. Police immediately initiated a traffic stop and refiled nearly all the charges after it was confirmed to Hereford.


First-Degree Assault

OCEAN CITY – Ocean City police filed a felony assault charge against a Colorado man last week after a disturbance at a local hotel.

On Jan. 19 around 5 a.m., authorities were directed to an alleged domestic assault call. Police arrived and interviewed a woman who said she awoke to Christopher Roszell, 41, of Denver, Colo., strangling her. The victim said Roszell caused her to lose consciousness. When she came to, the woman told police Roszell had taken her bank card and her iPhone. Furhter questioning by police revealed the two individuals had come to Maryland via Amtrak train. The victim said immediately after getting off the train Roszell began abusing her.

Police conducted a computer search of Roszell that revealed he was wanted in Virginia for a previous domestic assault. The computer check also revealed a protective order had been filed against Roszell in a case connected to the same victim.

Roszell was charged with first-degree assault, second-degree assault, theft $100 to under $1,500 and violation of an out-of-state protective order.