Showing posts with label Accomack County Sheriff''s Office. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Accomack County Sheriff''s Office. Show all posts

Thursday, March 21, 2013

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY IN ACCOMACK COUNTY!

Photo BW
This photos was taken on Sunday March 16, 2013 in a small community in Accomack County.  It is a photo of a control burn which is completely legal in the county after 4 PM.  Residents must call the nonemergency number to inform Accomack 911 Center that you will be burning.  It's a law that comes into effect in Virginia every February.  This year it should have been thought about sooner.

Saxis Volunteer Fire Company was alerted which resulted in the response of a brush truck followed by their tanker.

Normally this would have been no big deal but with Accomack County working on 71 unsolved arsons since November 12, 2012 IT IS!

Tuesday evening fire units were called to an abandoned structure fire.  The alerted fire departments responded to such fire in the same manner they have always responded only to find that this was a control burn.  Someone had seen flames and called the fire into 911 which in turn alerted the needed stations and sent them scrambling to a fire that did not need their response at all.  Control burn.

What a waste of resources in every capacity!  Our emergency personnel investigator, police officers, and anyone working deeply with this investigation is worn out! 

And this disturbed me greatly. It wasn't the residents fault for calling in a fire.  We have been told repeatedly to report anything suspicious.  And how can anyone consider even striking a match knowing the possibility  that a control burn can become uncontrollable in a matter of seconds.

These are two I am aware of.

However, things changed Wednesday afternoon.  I'm just sorry the change didn't happen sooner.  And shame on ALL the supervisors of Accomack County if you had to wait for your regular meeting to discuss this dire situation.

But it is what it is and I just hope everyone adheres to it because if I see a flame I'll be upset again.

Thank you Sheriff Todd Godwin !

 
EFFECTIVE  IMMEDIATELY   IN  ACCOMACK  COUNTY
 
Controlled Burn Ban.

The Accomack County Sheriff's Dept. says this was necessary after a few controlled fires caused already exhausted firefighters to rush out to the fires.

Wednesday - March  20, 2013
ACCOMAC--The Accomack County Board of Supervisors approved a request made by Accomack County Sheriff Todd Godwin to authorize a temporary ban on controlled burns because of the arson spree plaguing the county.
 T
here have been over 70 arsons in Accomack County since November

 Godwin said firefighters already weary from responding to near-nightly arsons were called out needlessly to two controlled burns Tuesday night, one in Painter and another in Poplar Cove.

 
Passersby reported the fires.

“We are taxing our firefighters now…God bless them, they are worn out,” said Godwin.
 
The board unanimously approved authorizing a standing committee to implement the ban, similar to what happens during a drought.
 
The board will reconsider the ban on a month-to-month basis.
 Supervisors agreed to exempt the town of Chincoteague from the ban after Supervisor Wanda Thornton, who represents the island community, said it has a serious issue with pine bark beetles that would make a burn ban a hardship.

“We have to burn them, there’s no other way,” she said of hundreds of affected trees on the island.

 None of the arsons have occurred on Chincoteague.
 
Godwin said he knows the burn ban will place a burden on area farmers and others, but said the safety of firefighters outweighs those concerns at present.

“I think we’ve got to protect our firefighters and our law enforcement,” he said.
 
The ban includes all towns in the county with the exception of Chincoteague.
 
Godwin assured the board, “We are doing everything possible to catch this person or persons” and thanked supervisors for their support.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Arrests Made For Multiple Burglaries

According to Sheriff Todd Godwin, the Accomack County Sheriff's Office has arrested two individuals for multiple burglaries and thefts from area businesses.

Based on the investigation into these incidents and information received by the Accomack County Sheriff's Office, arrests were made for the following in Virginia:

October 18, 2012 burglary and theft from Colonna Industries in Painter

November 19, 2012 burglary and theft from Sturgis Farms in Painter

December 24, 2012 theft from Bundick Well and Pump in Painter
 
January 11, 2013 theft from Bundick Well and Pump in Painter

January 23, 2013 burglary and theft from Virginia Art Castings in Tasley

January 27, 2013 theft from Turner Sculpture in Melfa.

Jacqueline Hunter, 45 of Melfa, was arrested on February 4, 2013 and charged with 3 counts of Breaking and Entering and 6 counts of Grand Larceny and is incarcerated in the Accomack County Jail with bond denied.

Keisha N. Merritt, 25 of Melfa, was arrested on February 4, 2013 and charged with 3 counts of Breaking and Entering and 5 counts of Grand Larceny and is incarcerated in the Accomack County Jail on a $10,000 bond.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Accomack County/ Abandoned Trailer Fire

9:25 PM- Saturday, February 16, 2013
Fire companies were called to an abandoned trailer fire at 6107 Lankford Highway- behind Corner Mart in Nelsonia.  Atlantic, Bloxom, Parksley, and Tasley responded.

The trailer was fully involved when units arrived at the scene.  The evenings fire is under investigation by the Virginia State Police.  Officials stated that the owners used the abandoned trailer to block view of their private property from the public.


The reward is now $25,000 and a Tip Line has been set up.

Anyone with information about the arsons and/or individual(s) responsible is encouraged to contact law enforcement via the new Tip Line dedicated to these investigations.

Text, call or email at 757-655-1437.

Friday, February 15, 2013

REWARD Increased and HOT LINE Has Been Set UP

ACCOMACK COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE INCREASES REWARD FOR TIPS ON ARSONS

The Accomack County Sheriff’s Office is putting forth funds to increase the reward related to the Accomack County arsons. As of Thursday, persons coming forward with information that leads to an arrest and conviction in these cases could be eligible for a reward of up to $25,000.
 
To notify the Eastern Shore community about the reward increase and a new Accomack County Arson Tip Line number, state police and the sheriff’s office are also distributing and posting new printed fliers throughout the Eastern Shore. Anyone with information about the arsons and/or individual(s) responsible is encouraged to contact law enforcement via a new Tip Line dedicated to these investigations. Text, call or email at 757-655-1437.

“The sheriff’s office and state police have received an overwhelming response from the public with tips and information, but there are still residents out there who know something about the persons involved in setting the fires,” Accomack County Sheriff Todd Godwin said. “I hope the increase in the reward will help persuade these residents to now come forward. These fires must be stopped – for the safety of our property owners, for the safety of our volunteer firefighters, and for the safety and wellbeing of our close-knit community.”

From Nov. 12, 2012, through Feb. 11, 2013, there have been 48 structure and debris fires intentionally set in Accomack County. On Feb. 13, 2013, it was discovered that someone tried to burn down the Leatherbury United Methodist Church in Onancock, Va. The church building suffered only minor damage. No one, to date, has been injured in any of the arsons.

“As we have stated before, state police are aggressively pursuing all leads related to these arsons,” Capt. T.A. Reibel, Commander of the BCI Chesapeake Field Office. “We are also confident, based on the evidence collected at the scenes, that the majority of the arsons are the work of a collaboration of individuals. The information needed to put a stop to these fires and effect an arrest is out there – we just need the right people to text us, call us or email us with what they know.”

Initially, a $5,000 reward was made available through the International Association of Arson Investigators (http://www.vaiaai.com/). The Sheriff’s Office is allocating the additional $20,000.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Update On Shooting On Monday Night In Mappsville, VA.

Photo/WESR
According to Sheriff Todd Godwin, on Monday, August 20 at approximately 10:21 p.m., the Accomack County Sheriffs Office received a report from the Eastern Shore 911 Center in regards to shots being fired in the Mappsville Trailer Park.

 Further investigation revealed that one victim was approached by two black males outside of his residence at which time the victim was shot by the suspects. A 2nd victim was also shot at the residence during this incident and the suspects fled on foot prior to deputies' arrival. One victim was pronounced dead at the scene as the other was transported by Bloxom Ambulance to Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital and flown to Sentara Norfolk General where he is listed in stable condition.

The incident appears to have been the result of an attempted robbery.

Identification of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of immediate family.

The Accomack County Sheriff's Office was assisted by the Virginia State Police, Parksley Police Department, and the Onley Police Department.

Anyone with information concerning this crime is asked to contact the Accomack County Sheriff's Office at 787-1131 or 824-5666.
Source:

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Parksley Teen Wanted In Connectin With Homicide From 2011

Accomack County Sheriff's Office asking the public's help in locating a Parksley teen wanted in connection with a homicide that occurred last summer in Accomack County.

Accomack County Sheriff Todd Godwin announced Monday that grand jury indictments have been received for 19-year-old Tyvon "Teddy" Smith.

In addition to Smith, two other suspects- Kevonte Bell and Devonte Davis- were indicted in connection with the July 21, 2011, homicide of Belarmino Escalante and remain behind bars. Smith, however, remains at large.

He is wanted on the charges of first-degree murder, use of firearm in the commission of murder, attempted robbery, use of firearm in the commission of attempted robbery and possession of firearm by a convicted felon.
 
According to investigators, Smith is described as black, dark complexion, small build, approximately 5-foot-8 and 145 pounds.

Anyone with information concerning Smith's whereabouts is asked to contact the Accomack County Sheriff's Office at (757) 787-1131 or (757) 824-5666.

Shooting in Mappsville, Va. Leaves One Dead

The Accomack County Sheriff's Office reports there was a shooting last night (Monday evening) around 10:30 pm in Mappsville, Va. The incident occurred in a trailer park on Beartown Road and Chester Street, behind Stucky's in Mappsville. One person is dead and another was injured in the shooting.

As of this time there is no word on the condition of the surviving victim and no idication of any suspect in the shooting.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Accomack County Sheriff's Office Seeks Public's Help

ONANCOCK, Va.- The Accomack County Sheriff's Office is asking the public's help in identifying an armed suspect wanted for holding up the Suntrust Bank in Onancock early Thursday afternoon.

Sheriff Todd Godwin said that shortly after 12:30 p.m., his office received a report of an armed robbery that had occurred at the bank. When deputies arrived on the scene, they determined that the suspect had ran from the scene with an undisclosed amount of money. 

According to Godwin, the suspect is described as a black male with a light to medium complexion, medium build, between 5-foot-8 and 5-foot-10, wearing dark jeans, a long-sleeve light colored shirt and a black cap. 

Godwin said assisting his office in the investigation were Virginia State Police, the FBI, the Onancock Police Department, the Onley Police Department, Virginia Marine Police, the Northampton County Sheriff's Office and the Worcester County Sheriff's Office.

Anyone with information concerning this crime is asked to contact the Accomack County Sheriff's Office at (757) 787-1131 or (757) 824-5666.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Accomack County Sheriff's Office Needs Your Help ~ REWARD OFFERED

A recent article in the Daily Times a few days ago mentioned the grafitti that has been showing up recently in lower parts of Accomack County in Virginia.  I mentioned this a few weeks ago in a post with photos to show that this type of vandalism has seem to have taken over.  It is NOT only in the Mears, Savageville, Pungoteague areas.


This type of vandalism is in Horsey, Hallwood, Parksley, Jenkins Bridge...and it just goes on.  Sheriff Todd Godwin has released a statement concerning this and the Accomack Sheriff's Office needs your help.


Below is Sheriff Godwin's statement and photos I took in the upper Accomack County area.....but there are SO many more!

The Sheriff's Department is seeking your help in apprehending those responsible for a rash of graffiti in Accomack County. In some cases homes have been spray painted resulting in thousands of dollars in damage. The graffiti artists seem to be trying to get revenge on a Jay Floyd whom they claim has cooperated with drug enforcement authorities.

There is now a $2000 reward set up for anyone who provides information that leads to the apprehension of the vandals.

Contact the Accomack County Sheriff's Department for more information.

Grafitti was scrawled across the side and the back of the old Jenkins Bridge Post Office.This "artwork" and the word NARC on the side was done sometime around June 30.  I am so happy to report that the old building has been removed and is now on the property of Grayson Chesser. 

NARC was painted on a trailer of a local farmer.....The trailer and the land is still in use- EVERYDAY on Horsey Road.

 Photos above from the Neal Parker Road in the Hallwood area. 

Please contact the Accomack County Sheriff's Office if you have any information.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Kenny Birch Gets 5 Years On Plea Agreement


2010 Surveillance photo

By Connie Morrison
He started off facing a maximum penalty of life in prison, but thanks to a plea agreement in Accomack County Circuit Court, Kenneth Corneal Birch Jr. received 10 years in the state penitentiary, with 5 years suspended, for the August 2010 robbery of the Corner Mart in Oak Hall.


According to testimony, Mr. Birch entered the store brandishing a knife and demanding money. After leaving with the contents of the till, the victim provided a description of the responsible party, along with a photo taken from video surveillance. Police asked the public for assistance in identifying the perpetrator based on his clothing, and those efforts produced Mr. Birch as a suspect. Further investigation showed a pickup Mr. Birch possessed matched the description provided by the victim.


When confronted with the evidence, Mr. Birch reportedly said that if Gary Agar would work a deal with him, he would be willing to talk about the robbery. In the end, that is what happened: he pled guilty and received a 10-year sentence, with 5 years suspended.

Source:

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Senior Call-In Program / Accomack County ~ Virginia

The Accomack County Sheriff's Office has started the senior citizen program to assist the elderly or disabled persons in our county with daily checks to ensure that they are safe and sound.

Every morning the members of the program call in to the Sheriff's Office. If there are any problems or someone doesn't call for what ever reason the Sheriff's Office will go and check on the person to ensure that they are alright. If there is some sort of emergency then the Sheriff's Office will be sure to notify all parties needed to assist and any persons noted on their application.

You can sign up for this service by either calling the Accomack County Sheriff's Office or printing out THIS APPLICATION and turning it in to the Sheriff's Office.

Or go here for application.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sheriffs Office Business Security Check Program Nabs Robber In The Act

According to Major Todd Godwin, on Tuesday, May 17 at approximately 12:57 a.m., an Accomack County Deputy was conducting a business security check at Taylor &  Fulton in Temperanceville when he spotted a burglary suspect at the place of business.

Further investigation revealed that the suspect had attempted to steal commercial property from the building. The suspect was apprehended on the scene without incident.


The suspect was identified as Hubert Chancellor Herring, III, age 35 of Temperanceville. Herring was arrested on charges of Breaking & Entering and Grand Larceny. He was released on a $3500 bond.


The Accomack County Sheriffs Office was assisted by Parksley Police Department and Virginia State Police.

Source; shoredailynews.com

Monday, April 18, 2011

Victim Robbed, Carjacked and Shot Near Parksley Saturday Evening

According to Major Todd Godwin, on April 17, 2011 at approximately 12:41 P.M., the Accomack County Sheriff's Office was notified of a gunshot victim who had been located on Whites Neck Road near Parksley, Virginia.

 Further investigation revealed that this incident had actually occurred during the late evening hours of April 16, 2011 in the John Cane Road area of Parksley.

The victim was allegedly signaled to stop by the suspects, and following a confrontation, the victim was robbed, assaulted and shot by the suspects. The victim's vehicle was taken during this incident but has since been recovered.

Suspect information has been developed in this case and the investigation is continuing.

The victim was transported to Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, Maryland by Parksley Rescue where he was later transferred to another medical facility. Assisting the Accomack County Sheriff's Office was the Parksley Police Department.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Accomack County Sheriff's Office at 757-787-1131 or 757-824-5666.

Source; shoredailynews.com

Arrests Made In Shooting ~ Police Still Search For One

According to Major Todd Godwin, on April 1, 2011, the Accomack County Sheriff's Office was notified of multiple gunshots being fired on A. S. West Road near Painter, Virginia, and that one subject had been injured as a result of the gunfire. The victim in that incident was transported to a medical facility where he was treated, and has since been released.


An extensive investigation into that incident has resulted in warrants being obtained against several subjects on a variety of charges.


49 year old Richmond Southey Johnson, of Parksley, was arrested on April 15, 2011 and has been charged with Malicious Wounding, Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Johnson is incarcerated in the Accomack County Jail with bond denied.


46 year old Samuel Randolph Custis, of Painter, was arrested on April 18, 2011 and has been charged with Malicious Wounding, Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. Custis is incarcerated in the Accomack County Jail with bond denied.

24 year old Jarod Scott Lee, of Painter, was arrested on April 18, 2011 and has been charged with three counts of Attempted Malicious Wounding and one count of Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony. Lee is incarcerated in the Accomack County Jail with bond denied.

36 year old Phillip Maurice Robinson, of Painter, is wanted on one count of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.

Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of Phillip Robinson is asked to contact the Accomack County Sheriff's Office at 757-787-1131 or 757-824-5666.

Source; shoredailynews.com

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Accomack County Deputies Investigate Shooting

ACCOMACK, Va. (WAVY) - Deputies said a man is in stable condition after being shot near Painter, Virginia on Friday afternoon.

The shooting occurred on A.S. West Road around 4 p.m., according to the Accomack County Sheriff's Office.

He was transported to Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital and later transferred to another medical facility where he is listed in stable condition.

Deputies and investigators spent hours processing the scene, collecting evidence, and conducting interviews.

The Accomack County Sheriff's Office was assisted by the Virginia State Police, Virginia Marine Police, Department of Game & Inland Fisheries, Parksley Police, Onley Police, and Onancock Police.

Deputies said the investigation is continuing.

Source; fox43tv.com http://www.fox43tv.com/dpps/news/local/accomack-deputies-investigate-shooting_3762230

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Maj. Todd E. Godwin Announces Candidacy for Sheriff

ACCOMAC -- Todd E. Godwin, a longtime deputy with the Accomack County Sheriff's Office, formally announced his candidacy for sheriff in the November election.

Godwin has over 25 years experience in law enforcement and is a 20-year veteran of the sheriff's office.

Godwin, of Parksley, will run as an independent for the post, which has been held by Sheriff Larry Giddens since 2008. Giddens is retiring.

Godwin has been chief deputy second in command with the rank of major in the department since January 2008.

Godwin began his law-enforcement career in 1985 as an officer with the Parksley Police Department followed by employment with the Virginia State Police as a weight-enforcement officer in 1987.

Godwin then joined the sheriff's office in 1990 as a patrol deputy and became the county's first certified K-9 officer in 1994 with his K-9 partner, Nitro.


He was promoted to corporal in 1995 and patrol lieutenant in 1999.

As lieutenant, Godwin was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the uniform patrol division, including the SWAT team, K-9 units, dive teams, and dispatch.

In 2002, Godwin also assumed responsibility of supervising animal control and began supervising the newly constructed Eastern Shore Regional Animal Control Facility in 2005.

In addition to his training at the Peninsula Tidewater Academy of Criminal Justice and the Virginia State Police Academy, he has received training in numerous areas during his career. Those areas include lawful employment practices for law enforcement, freedom of information training, managing jail risk and liability, budgeting for criminal justice executives, FBI first line supervisor school, liability issues for K-9 handlers, raid liability and planning, FEMA national incident management system ICS-100, 200, 700, 300 and 400, breath alcohol operator course, vehicle inspection course, uniform drug interdiction training, SWAT training, basic and advance patrol and narcotic K-9 schools, street survival and tactical use of police K-9, basic radar operator, domestic violence training, community policing in small town and rural areas, basic animal control school, and gang training.

As chief deputy, Godwin is responsible for the management of all departmental divisions to include law enforcement, corrections, courtroom security/civil process, communications, animal control and the animal control facility.

The Accomack County Sheriff's Office consists of 75 sworn and non-sworn personnel.

Godwin is a member of the Eastern Shore of Virginia 911 Commission, member of the Chesapeake Bay ASAP Policy Board and a member of the Eastern Shore Regional Jail Board.

Godwin, 46, resides in Parksley, with his wife, Sheila, and their two sons, Johnnie and Logan.

www.easternshorenews.com

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Todd E. Godwin Announces Candidacy For Sheriff

Longtime deputy for the Accomack County Sheriff's Office Todd E. Godwin has announced his candidacy for Sheriff in the upcoming November election.

Godwin, a 20 year member of the Accomack County Sheriff's Office, announced on Monday he will run as an independent for the post, which has been held by Sheriff Larry Giddens since 2008 until the end of this year when he will retire.

Godwin's other experience includes being a member of the Parksley Police Department as well as the Virginia State Police. He has been in law enforcement for 25 years and is currently a Major, the second in command in the Accomack County Sheriff's Department.

No one else has publicly announced they will run for the Sheriff's seat in November.

www.shoredailynews.com

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Accomack County Sheriff's Office Asks Citizens Help In Two Robberies

According to Major Todd Godwin, on Sunday, December 12 at approximately 2:45 AM, the Accomack County Sheriffs Office received a report of a robbery at Shore Stop in Accomac, Virginia. Further investigation revealed that a white male entered the convenience store and robbed the clerk at gunpoint of an undisclosed amount of money and merchandise. The suspect fled the scene on foot prior to deputies' arrival.

The suspect is described as a white male, approximately 30 years of age, 5'8, 180 lbs.

The Sheriff's Office is also looking for a suspect wanted in connection with a robbery that took place on Saturday, December 11 at approximately 6:44 PM, the Accomack County Sheriff's Office received a report of a robbery of two men at Captain's Quarters.

Further investigation revealed that two black males approached a vehicle occupied by two men parked in front of a residence at Captain's Quarters. The suspects robbed the victims at gunpoint of an undisclosed amount of money and property and then fled the scene prior to deputies' arrival.

During the investigation, information was received that led to the identification of one suspect to be Cardell Shavar Mears, age 22 of Drummondtown Road, Accomac. Mears is described as a black male, 5'11, 180lbs.
Felony warrants have been obtained by the Accomack County Sheriff's Office charging Mears with 2 counts of robbery and 1 count of use of firearm in commission of a felony. He has been entered into the Virginia Criminal Information Network and the National Crime Information Center as a wanted person.

Anyone with information concerning these crimes is asked to contact the Accomack County Sheriff's Office at 787-1131 or 824-5666.

www.shoredailynews.com

Saturday, November 13, 2010

One Arrest In Breaking and Entering Of Runninger's Pharmacy


According to Major Todd Godwin of the Accomack County Sheriff's Office, on October 2, 2010 at approximately 5:29 A.M., deputies responded to a report of an alarm activation at Runninger's Pharmacy in Parksley, Virginia.

Upon arrival on the scene, deputies found that a breaking and entering had occurred and that various items had been taken from the business.

A joint investigation into this incident between the Accomack County Sheriff's Office and the Parksley Police Department, with assistance from the Virginia State Police, has resulted in warrants being obtained against Billy Brandice Kilmon, age 27, of Parksley, Virginia and Walter Hunter Wharton III, age 30, address unknown, charging each subject with one count of breaking and entering and one count of grand larceny.

According to Runninger's pharmicist Emory Hurst, Jr., approximately $8,000 worth of drugs were stolen with a street value of approximately $100,000.

Billy Brandice Kilmon is currently incarcerated in the Wicomico County Jail in Salisbury, Maryland on unrelated charges.

Walter Hunter Wharton III has not been apprehended and anyone with information as to his whereabouts is asked to contact the Accomack County Sheriff's Office at 757-787-1131 or 757-824-5666.

The investigation into this incident is continuing and additional arrests are expected.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Police Coalition Established For Two Counties


SNOW HILL -- The Worcester County Sheriff's Office is no longer restrained by state borders when pursuing certain criminals.

A coalition between the Worcester County and Accomack County Sheriff's Offices has created the Eastern Shore Drug Task Force, devoted to working together and with federal authorities to seek out and prosecute those who travel over state lines to sell drugs.

Cpl. Nate Passwaters is a member of the Worcester County Sheriff's Office, but he's also deputized in Accomack County and by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

"Drug dealers don't have boundaries like we do," says Passwaters.

Since forming, the task force has charged about 20 alleged drug dealers, all of whom frequently crossed state lines, police officials said. The cooperation between agencies has helped with the flow of information, they say, conducting surveillance operations and getting warrants issued.

"They are under the assumption we are limited in our enforcement," says Passwaters. "It gives them a false sense of security, where they say 'I'm in another state, so it's going to be harder to prosecute me.' "

The select number of officers who serve on the task force may have jurisdiction in other counties, but they can't simply follow suspects wherever they want to. The cases must have a drug component to them.

"I can't just go into Accomack and say, I think I'm going to stop cars today," says Passwaters. He is currently working with Delaware State Police to set up a similar agreement.

Deciding where to prosecute cross-border drug crimes is not complicated by the arrangement. According to Passwaters, if someone is arrested in Virginia, they are prosecuted in Virginia. If they are arrested in Maryland, they are prosecuted in Maryland.

Several cases have been prosecuted on the federal level, based on the quantity of drugs recovered or the presence of firearms, which allows the task force greater access to federal resources and prosecutors. It is also the reason Passwaters is deputized as an ATF officer.

Passwaters says the Sheriff's Office also works with agencies in Somerset and Wicomico counties to share information and collaborate on complex cases.

www.worcestercountytimes.com