Last week, the OCPD announced cursory information about Operation Sand Dollar, a two-year undercover operation targeting drug trafficking in the resort area during which an undercover officer posed as a cab driver to infiltrate Ocean City’s shadowy social circles.
“The undercover officer posing as a cab driver and owner was a good way to infiltrate the social circle,” said DiPino on Monday. “It’s often a primary mode of transportation for those involved in drug trafficking.”
“We hope this sends a clear message to drug dealers and users to keep the activity out of our community,” she said. “You never know who an undercover officer might be. It could be the maid in your hotel, a bartender or even a street performer on the Boardwalk.”
DiPino said those targeted included local residents engaged in drug use and distribution. DiPino said the operation did not include tourists.
“The list includes many locals,” she said. “At no time were tourists targeted.”
For his part, Mason said the operation could be the tip of the iceberg and promised similar operations in the future.
“We will continue to go after drug users and dealers,” said Mason. “You’re going to see a lot more to come.”
Mason said he hoped Operation Sand Dollar sent a clear message to users and dealers in Worcester County.
OPERATION SAND DOLLAR
ARRESTS, INDICTMENTS, ETC
All in all, the operation led to 34 indictments and 119 total counts including 91 distribution charges and 28 conspiracy to distribute charges. Sixteen of the 34 suspects list Ocean City as their address, while seven others call Worcester County home. Twenty-two suspects have been apprehended, while four were already in custody on unrelated charges. The remaining suspects were still at large as of mid-week.
Among those apprehended already were Ronald Alimo, 51, Ocean City; Jonathan Grubbs, 23, Willards; Troy Middleton, 41, Ocean City; Charlene Chester, 47, Ocean City; James Camper, 49, Trappe; Glynnis Sullivan, 54, Ocean City; Robert Hayes, Sr., 44, Ocean City; Orean Kennedy, 52, Ocean City; Dawn Ramaska, 34, Ocean City; James Hudson, 49, Showell; Robert Ray, Sr., 53, Ocean City; Donald Collins, 53, Ocean City; Mary Baker, 55, Ocean City; Stacy Baker, 38, Ocean City; Guy Erbe, 52, Ocean Pines; Cheryl Merendino, 49, Ocean City; Stanley Layton, Jr., 53, Ocean City; Vernon Spence, 46, Snow Hill; and Robin McCready, 50, Pocomoke.
Those already in custody on unrelated charges included Miranda Florio, 24, Jessup; Lorenzo Sears, 41, Oak Hall, Va.; and Brian Harmon, 39, Westover.
Those indicted but still at large included James Leech, 50, Berlin; John Leo Parker, 57, Bishopville; Darryl Lee Whaley, 55, Berlin; Geraldine Woodland, 49, Ocean City; Christopher Denike, 32, Ocean City; Michael Rose, 54, Ocean City; Paul Francis, 32, Glenwood, Md.; David Allen Brown, 44, Baltimore; Kathy Matthews, 40, Rivera Beach; and Robert Gross, Jr., 43, Kensington, Md.