Showing posts with label DRugs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DRugs. Show all posts

Monday, February 25, 2013

Traffic Stop Turns Into Foot Chase By Police in Worcester County

More fantastic work from the Worcester County departments!

On February 20, 2013, members of the Worcester County Criminal Enforcement Team along with the Snow Hill Police Department and the Pocomoke City Police Department concluded a joint cocaine distribution investigation of Laron J. Collick, Age 32, of Pocomoke, Maryland.

 On this date, officers of the Snow Hill Police Department attempted to conduct a traffic stop of Collick at which time he exited his vehicle and fled on foot. Collick was apprehended in a wooded area near the intersection of Snow Hill Road and U.S. Route 113, Snow Hill, Maryland.

Investigators located a small quantity of marijuana and approximately 11 grams of powder cocaine and crack cocaine packaged in 27 individual clear plastic bags which was found in the area that Collick fled.

 Once Collick was taken into custody, members of the Pocomoke City Police Department and the Criminal Enforcement Team executed a search and seizure warrant at Collick’s residence in Pocomoke, Maryland.

 No additional contraband was located at Collick’s residence.

Collick was charged with the following offenses:
  Possession with the intent to Distribute Crack Cocaine
·         Possession with the intent to Distribute Cocaine
·         Possession of Crack Cocaine
·         Possession of Cocaine
·         Possession of Marijuana
Collick was committed to the Worcester County Jail on a $50,000.00 bond. The Worcester County Criminal Enforcement Team was also assisted by the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Division.
Edward C. Schreier
Worcester County Sheriff's Office

Friday, September 28, 2012

OPCPD Traffic Stop Leads To 3 Arrests For Crack Cocaine

On September 26, 2012, at approximately 2:35 p.m. Ocean City Police patrol officers stopped a 2002 Nissan Altima with three occupants for a traffic violation in the area of 62nd Street and Coastal Highway.  During the course of the traffic stop, the officers observed two occupants of the vehicle shoving an unknown object under the front seats.

The driver of the vehicle was identified as Larry Dennell Floyd, Jr., 30, of Berlin.  During the traffic stop, officers checked the status of Floyd’s driver’s license and determined he was suspended.  During further investigation, officers identified the front passenger of the vehicle as Marty Edward Tankard, Jr., 33 of Berlin and a rear seat passenger as Joel Lamont Lankford, 40, of Nanticoke, Maryland.  In addition, officers determined the object being shoved under the seats was an empty beer bottle. 

While officers were checking under the front seat of the vehicle, they observed a white powdery substance they suspected to be crack cocaine.  Officers also recovered additional suspected crack cocaine from the front and rear passenger seats.  Police subsequently arrested Floyd for driving on a suspended license and Tankard and Lankford for possession of crack cocaine. 

During the arrest process, Floyd became uncooperative and would not open his mouth.  Officer suspected Floyd was concealing illegal drugs in his mouth and at which point Floyd attempted to swallow the items.   Officers attempted to get Floyd to spit the items out of his mouth, however, Floyd continued to refuse and resist arrest.  Due to the level of resistance Floyd was exhibiting and the concern that he was attempting to swallow life-threatening drug contraband, officers deployed a TASER/ECD and delivered one drive-stun to Floyd’s back to gain compliance.

Floyd immediately spit out the contents of his mouth, which was determined by officers to be a large quantity of suspected crack cocaine.  As a precautionary measure, Floyd was taken by OC EMS to Atlantic General Hospital for exposure to ECD and possible CDS consumption.  Floyd was evaluated and subsequently released from the hospital in Ocean City Police custody. 
  • Larry Dennell Floyd, Jr. was charged with:
  • Driving on a suspended Maryland License.
  • Possession of Controlled Dangerous Substance (crack cocaine).
  • Possession of Paraphernalia.
  • Possession of CDS with the Intent to Distribute (crack cocaine).
  • Resisting Arrest.
  • Obstructing and Hindering Arrest.
  • Various Traffic Offences (Tickets).
  • Marty Edward Tankard, Jr. was charged with:
    • Possession of CDS (crack cocaine).
    • Possession of an Open Container of Alcoholic Beverage in public.
  • Joel Lamont Lankford was charged with:
    • Possession of CDS (crack cocaine).
All three suspects were seen by an Ocean City District Court Commissioner, Lankford and Tankard were released on their own recognizance.  Floyd was release after posting a $25,000 bond.

Ocean City Police Dept. Press Release

Monday, October 24, 2011

Worcester County Approves Substance Ban

October 21, 2011
Written By: Staff Writer,
 Travis Brown

SNOW HILL -- Following in the steps of Ocean City, the Worcester County Commissioners decided Tuesday to ban several “cannabimimetic agents and hallucinogenic chemical substances” including the controversial K-2.

With innocuous aliases like “Mr. Nice Guy” and “Spice,” large amounts of K-2 began popping up on the Boardwalk and in Ocean City stores last summer.

“The worst part of all is that it’s being marketed to our kids,” said county attorney Sonny Bloxom.

According to Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) Lieutenant Mark Pacini, K-2 was being “openly marketed” in Ocean City last summer. Though officially sold as incense, Pacini explained that during a number of purchases, undercover officers were often told how to smoke K-2 and offered paraphernalia like hookahs or pipes. Smoking the drug, said Pacini, will cause symptoms similar to smoking marijuana, though often times even more pronounced.

Smoking K-2 may lead to an elevated heart rate, paranoia and panic attacks along with the traditional high associated with substances like marijuana. While there have been no deaths from K-2 in Maryland, Pacini told the commission that overdoses were not uncommon, with seven reported this summer in Ocean City.

The commissioners were then played the audio from a 911 call from someone who had overdosed on the drug and was clearly panicking.

“Hospitals weren’t aware of it,” Pacini said of K-2. “EMS weren’t aware of it.”

Commissioner Judy Boggs wondered how many overdose cases weren’t being reported by visitors not wanting to talk to hospitals or the police.

“I’m suspecting there were a lot of overdoses you didn’t see,” she told Pacini.

OCPD Captain Robert Bokinsky noted similarities between what’s going on now and the Salvia situation a few summers ago. Salvia, another hallucinogenic substance, was eventually banned by the Ocean City Mayor and Council and later the County Commissioners. A state law soon followed, though it only made it illegal to distribute or possess salvia for those under 21 years old.

“Salvia was a walk in the park compared to what we’re dealing with here [with K-2] as far legislating against,” said Bokinsky.

Because of the complexity of K-2, he explained, small chemical alterations could make the drug technically legal while preserving all of the effects.

“They [drug manufacturers] are just one chemistry class away from creating a whole new class [of K-2],” Bokinsky said.

“Drug dealers and manufacturers stay one step ahead of the law,” agreed Pacini.

Hoping to counter that, a list of five classes of hallucinogenic drugs and 15 individual substances were presented to the commission for possible banning. By hitting such a broad range, said Bokinsky, it would be harder for drug dealers to sneak mildly altered forms of K-2 under the radar.

With an endorsement from State’s Attorney Beau Ogelsby and Worcester County Sheriff Reggie Mason, Pacini urged the commission to act on the ban. With the gates to Ocean City closed, Pacini warned dealers could move over the bridge to West Ocean City or other parts of the county.

“This is a major, major, major operation,” said Commission President Bud Church.

The commissioners voted unanimously to ban the list of substances as well as any paraphernalia associated with K-2 or its variants. Because it is an emergency ordinance, all forms of the drug and paraphernalia will need to be removed from shelves immediately, with the Sheriff’s Office visiting county businesses to make sure the ordinance is being followed.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Ocean City Mounted Patrol Officers Get Tip From Citizen- OC Narcotics Detectives Take Action

Even though the Ocean City Mayor and Council recently banned the sale of all synthetic drugs in the resort, some businesses are continuing to sell them anyway.

On Tuesday, undercover Ocean City Police Department detectives conducted a compliance check at the May Talk store on Atlantic Avenue.

The officers were able to purchase K-2 and an employee also told them how to use the drug in a pipe to get high.

Officers went back to the store with a warrant on Thursday and recovered several items including K-2, Salvia, bath salts, CDS paraphernalia and several fixed-blade fighting knives.

Charges are pending against all of the parties involved.

Ocean City Police mounted patrol officers received information from a citizen regarding the sale of  “K-2” sold at “May Talk”, a boardwalk retail store located at 205 Atlantic Avenue.  

The Ocean City Mayor and City Council recently passed an emergency ordinance banning the sale of synthetic drugs including K-2.

On Tuesday September 13th undercover OCPD narcotics detectives conducted a compliance check at the “May Talk” retail store.

Narcotics officers purchased K-2 from a “May Talk” employee who told the undercover officers the K-2 was illegal but agreed to sell it to them anyway. The store employee also sold the officers a pipe, which is considered paraphernalia.  The employee explained to the undercover officers how to use the K-2 and the pipe to get high.  The owner of the establishment was present at the time of the transaction.

On September 15, 2011, at approximately 1 p.m., OCPD personnel served the Search Warrant at “May Talk”.

As a result of the Search and Seizure warrant police recovered several items including:  Saliva Divinorum,
K-2, Bath Salts, CDS paraphernalia and several fixed blade fighting knives. 

Charges are pending against all of the parties involved.

Since the passing of the emergency ordinance, Ocean City Police have proactively educated storeowners and managers by providing copies of the ordinances as well as conducting several checks to ensure compliance of the ordinance.   Some contraband was found in a hidden compartment in a display case located next to the cash register.  The owner admitted they have been selling the saliva in spite of the ordinance enacted banning the substance last year.  


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Arrest Made For Drug and Deadly Weapon Possession

POCOMOKE CITY — A state trooper who stopped a man walking in Pocomoke at about 2 a.m. on June 5 found a device that had been used to ingest crack cocaine and a concealed knife, police said.

Ronnie Lee Collins, 52, of the 400 block of Market Street in Snow Hill, was stopped for a pedestrian violation, according to a Maryland State Police statement. When Collins made furtive movements near his waistband, police said, he was searched, and a knife tucked under his waistband was found.

Collins was arrested, police said; during a search after his arrest, police reportedly found a smoking device containing suspected burnt crack cocaine. He was charged with having a concealed deadly weapon and drug possession.

Source;|newswell|text|Worcester County Times|s

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pocomoke City Police and WCBI Investigate Incident

NEWS RELEASE:  DATE & TIME:    Friday, February 25, 2011 @ 11:25PM  
CBI Case #  11-0054  
LOCATION:  900blk Laurel Street, Pocomoke City, Worcester County, Maryland
CRIME:   Assault and CDS Distribution
VICTIM:   Edward Schmidt – Snow Hill, Maryland 
ACCUSED:  Darryl Kyshek WISE, Jr. – 900blk Laurel Street, Pocomoke City, Maryland   Black / Male / 19 years of age
CHARGES:   First & Second Degree Assault
                      Reckless Endangering
                      Possession with Intent
                      Possession of Marijuana
                      Possession of Cocaine
                      Wearing  & Carrying a Weapon
                      Distribution within 1000’ of a school
NARRATIVE:  On the evening of Friday, February 25, 2011 members of the Pocomoke City Police Department began an investigation into a First Degree Assault and requested the assistance of the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation.

It was learned that as a result of a drug deal gone bad, the victim was struck multiple times with a hammer and then stabbed in the back.  The victim was transported to Peninsula Regional Medical Center where he was admitted and is being treated for multiple injuries.

In the early morning hours following the assault WISE was taken into custody without incident at his home.  The significant amount of CDS which was recovered on his person also supports the Charge of Possession with Intent to Distribute.

WISE appeared before a District Court Commissioner and is being held at the Worcester County Detention Center on a $250,000.00 bond.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Attempt To Smuggle Cocaine and Heroin Into Baltimore By Cruise Ship Crew

On a frigid morning this month, customs agents lay in wait as the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Enchantment of the Seas arrived in Baltimore.

Along with tourists fresh from a 12-day excursion to the Caribbean, agents were expecting the arrival of crew members attempting to smuggle drugs into the United States.

As soon as the vessel docked Dec. 18, agents pulled aside crew member Gavin Excell, 35, suspected by the ship's security officer of bringing drugs aboard. Customs agents say they found 700 grams of heroin and 300 grams of cocaine wrapped in duct tape and hidden in his waistband and shoes.

A criminal complaint filed Tuesday accuses Excell and two other cruise line employees — John Swart Garth and Kishurn Neptune, both 27 — of picking up more than a kilogram of heroin and 500 grams of cocaine in the Dominican Republic when the cruise ship stopped there Dec. 10, with the intention of delivering it to associates in Baltimore.

In a statement, Royal Caribbean International said it maintains a "strict zero tolerance policy regarding illegal drugs on its ships." The company said it "cooperated fully with authorities during this investigation and will continue providing any assistance necessary to prosecute these individuals to the fullest extent of the law."

Cynthia Martinez, a spokeswoman for Royal Caribbean, could not immediately confirm whether the three men had been fired.

Marketed toward vacationing families, the Enchantment of the Seas began operating out of Baltimore last summer and features luxury amenities, six whirlpools, a rock-climbing wall and a solarium. The ship can accommodate 2,252 guests, according to the Maryland Department of Transportation.

According to the court filing, Garth and Neptune worked in the ship's galley, or kitchen, an area largely out of view of passengers.

Richard Scher, a spokesman for the Maryland Port Administration, which operates the cruise ship terminal, said safety at the Baltimore port has been improved, earning a near-perfect security assessment from the Coast Guard the past three years.

"It's always a concern whenever you have a case like this occur, whether it happens on land or in sea," Scher said. "But certainly when you've got a ship such as the Enchantment that is linked to the port of Baltimore, it's a concern."

According to an affidavit written by an agent from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and filed Tuesday in federal court, Excell told authorities he had picked up the drugs with Garth and Neptune from a Jamaican in the Dominican Republic and had been instructed to hand them over to a man named "Tony" at the Port Covington Walmart near the Cruise Maryland Terminal.

On the morning of Dec. 18, authorities said they saw Garth getting into and out of a black GMC Envoy with Virginia license plates outside the Walmart. Garth later told customs agents that he had been paid $4,000 to deliver three packages of drugs to Loxly Johnson, 48, and Shenika Graves, 34, who were inside the vehicle.

Johnson, a Jamaican citizen and legal resident of the United States, was stopped by customs agents on Hanover Street after leaving the Walmart lot. According to documents, agents found $8,000 in his car. Other agents approached Graves, who was still at the Walmart. In her purse, according to the affidavit, were three packages containing 700 grams of heroin and 300 grams of cocaine, also wrapped in duct tape.

Johnson and Graves face the same charges as the three crew members: conspiring to import drugs into the country.

Excell, a Jamaican citizen, is in federal custody in Baltimore and an arraignment is scheduled Jan. 7, said his attorney, Chris Purpura. He said his client will plead not guilty.

Johnson, also known as Desmond Williams, is in federal custody, said Joseph L. Evans, an assistant federal public defender. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has lodged an immigration detainer against Johnson, Evans said.

Graves' attorney, Thomas L. Crowe, said his client is a "solid citizen" and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

"She has absolutely no criminal record," Crowe said. "She's never been accused of being involved in anything like this. She maintains her innocence."

Graves has been released, Crowe said, and is in Virginia with family.

Garth and Neptune were in federal custody Wednesday but had not been indicted, according to the U.S. attorney's office in Baltimore.

A task force of immigration and customs agents, police from Baltimore city and county, and the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, was responsible for the investigation and arrests, said Marcia Murphy, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office.

Industry experts said the arrests display the effective partnership in place between cruise lines and federal law enforcement.

Michael Crye, executive vice president of the Cruise Line International Association, a trade group, said cruise companies have formal agreements with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security so security staff can report any incidents or suspicions regarding passengers or crew.

"The fact that the system seemed to work properly in this case is a good indication that the ship was maintaining its vigilance and doing the right thing," he said.

Cruise lines typically screen passengers, crew and their belongings when they get on and off the ship, but do not conduct a thorough search of each person boarding, Crye said.

In October 2008, a British citizen was caught trying to smuggle 20 kilograms of cocaine into Britain as a passenger on a cruise ship that sailed from St. Lucia in the Caribbean. Last August, he was sentenced to 101/2 years in prison, according to news reports.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

'Friendliest Town' Offers Many Positives ~~From Mayor Mike McDermott

RE: "Shift in services is a big concern in Pocomoke City," Oct. 11; "Pocomoke residents are looking for some answers," Oct. 12

Public safety is a core mission of government that is taken seriously by Pocomoke City's mayor and council. We have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in technology dedicated to thwarting and reducing crime in our city. This includes a bank of 24/7 targeted surveillance cameras monitored by police personnel. We have also focused efforts on building strong ties and relationships with our young people, in particular those deemed to be "at risk."

This has been done through direct support of the Save the Youth Organization, the Salvation Army Youth Programs, and a host of grant funded programs created and administered by our police department. We are the only municipal government in Maryland to be consistently recognized and awarded each year by the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention for these efforts.

We are an active partner with our local schools and were thrilled last week when Pocomoke Middle School received national recognition as one of the top schools in the nation. Principal Caroline Bloxom and her staff represent everything that is right in fostering a protected, learning environment for our young people. She provides them with hope and a future.

Pocomoke City takes a multi-faceted approach:

~A new comprehensive master plan for growth and development
~Comprehensive zoning review
~Housing enforcement review
~Downtown economic development
~Targeted industrial development
~Engineering studies of critical infrastructure needs.

Considering our city's future needs, we are reviewing options for construction of a new police department facility. Our existing facilities provide a full gymnasium for use by local nonprofits; we are examining ways to continue providing this service. Once all options are identified, they will be discussed openly at a regular meeting of the mayor and council.

With local investment in our downtown, including the Mar-Va Performing Arts Theater, Delmarva Discovery Center, new Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, Sturgis One-Room Schoolhouse, Costen House and the new riverfront restaurant breaking ground in the spring, it is no wonder new businesses are locating here.

City Hall will remain in its historic location, downtown, irrespective of any potential move by the police department. The city's commitment to a thriving downtown is self-evident.

I recently attended a celebration honoring Bishop Isaac Jenkins for his 50 years of service as pastor at New Macedonia Baptist Church. One can learn much from the dedication and commitment the reverend has displayed over five decades. He always focuses on that which is "good" and "positive," encouraging us to do the same.

Anyone can throw stones, but it takes vision to see how each stone can be used to build up a community. Pocomoke City has been blessed with citizens who gather and build up "the friendliest town on the Eastern Shore."

  • Mike McDermott is mayor of Pocomoke City.


    Friday, September 24, 2010

    Citizens Meeting On Crime In Pocomoke

    Here you go citizens of Pocomoke! The door is wide open for all of you to join in next time. Let the city councilmen and your police chief know what YOU expect! They can't read your mind and that won't know how you feel just by sitting at home and texting you best friend about the drug bust YOU just watched from your windown. It doesn't happen like that.

    You don't need the Mayor to babysit. You need the people that were present at this meeting to continue to help all of you with your need to fight crime. You need to let your chief know that NONE of you will tolerate this type of community abuse any longer.

    There is no need to sit back and let someone else take care of it. It's everyone's problem. You people of Pocomoke know how to work together as a community. You have their attention and it is up to you to help THEM help you as taxpaying citizens of Pocomoke. And one thing for sure, Chief Ervin works for all of you.

    The Neighborhood Crime Watch group is only as good as the 2-way participation..........takes the citizens and it takes the city police.

    POCOMOKE CITY -- Police Chief J.D. Ervin asked for citizens to step forward and help form Neighborhood Crime Watch groups throughout the city.

    Speaking during a community meeting at New Macedonia Baptist Church, Ervin said five sections of the town had been formed some time back as crime-watch zones. All have been active at one time or another, he said, but had been discontinued by the residents involved in them. Anyone who wishes to volunteer can call the chief at 410-957-1600.

    Most of the people attending the meeting, including members of the City Council, police, candidates for office and area residents, were in agreement that action needed to be taken to prevent crime. They thought that there would be better attendance at the meetings if residents were aware of the action.

    Carroll Overholt, a retired Maryland State Police officer and candidate for sheriff, spoke out in favor of the crime watches, saying that the police can't solve the problems alone. "We don't have enough police," he said.

    However, James Jones, an area resident, said that there is talk in the streets about what is going on at community meetings like the one at New Macedonia. "We have their attention," he said.

    Dean Guy, a Pocomoke property owner, said that he has called police about the drug problem he sees, and has even offered to allow the police use a vacant house to observe the area. He said he thinks crime levels are getting worse.

    But Ervin said statistics show the crime rate is down, and figures on crime compiled by the FBI back up that assertion. The statistics show Pocomoke police took reports on 28 violent crimes occur in 2009, compared to 31 such crimes in 2008 and 29 in 2007. Police in the city recorded 216 instances of property crime in 2009, compared to 239 property crimes in 2008 and 243 such cases of burglary, theft and arson in 2007.

    Council member Bruce Morrison called drugs a problem that will never go away. He said that he gets weekly reports about arrests and then sees where the crimes are not processed. "They are let go," he said. He added that he has talked to people in his district about it, and that no one wants to get involved.

    The discussion turned to neighborhoods, but Councilman Robert Clarke called the entire town of Pocomoke City his neighborhood.

    The next community meeting is planned for Saturday, Oct. 16, at 10 a.m. at New Macedonia Church.

    Monday, September 20, 2010

    Pocomoke Man Charged With Possession Of Pot And Other Drugs

    A Pocomoke man is charged with a variety of drug offenses after he was spotted in the West Ocean City Wawa with a partially burnt marijuana cigarette behind his ear by a Maryland State Trooper. 26 year old Tyrone Scruggs was arrested and faces numerous drug offenses.

    Time: 09/17/2010 @ 2321 hours
    Case #: 10-96-006202
    Location: WAWA 12502 Ocean Gateway Ocean City, Worcester County, MD
    Crime: Possession of CDS: Marijuana, cocaine, and paraphernalia
    Victim: State of Maryland
    Accused: Tyrone Scruggs 26 yoa from Pocomoke City, MD

    Narrative: .. On the above date and time an on duty Trooper from the Berlin Barrack was in the WAWA convenience store located at the above location. While in the store he observed the above subject had a partially burnt rolled marijuana cigarette held behind his ear in plain view. The Trooper took the above subject into custody for marijuana possession. During a further search of the accused, the Trooper located a baggie containing crack cocaine and powder cocaine. The accused was processed and taken before a District Court Commissioner for CDS marijuana, CDS cocaine, and paraphernalia charges.

    Disposition: Taken before District Court Commissioner.

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    Prison Sentences For Two On Charges Of Transporting Over 700 Pounds of Marijuana

    NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - On Monday, a man and woman were sentenced in Norfolk federal court on conspiracy charges involving over 700 pounds of marijuana seized in Virginia Beach and Nashville.

    Ashlee Gina Bunn, 29, formerly of Virginia Beach, was sentenced to nine years in prison, and Antonio Allen Anderson, 29, of Newport News, was sentenced to one year and three months in prison.

    According to court documents, Bunn was involved in transporting 200 pounds of marijuana from Tennessee to Virginia Beach for distribution. She recruited Anderson to help move the marijuana from Newport News to Virginia Beach. After her arrest, she recruited another person in Tennessee to remove 500 pounds of marijuana from the home she rented there.

    Search warrants in Virginia Beach and Tennessee resulted in the recovery of over $50,000 in currency and 500 pounds of marijuana. Bunn will be transferred to federal court in Tennessee for trial there with another co-conspirator.

    Bunn and Anderson previously pled guilty in May 2010.

    Tuesday, August 24, 2010

    Children Left Alone While Mother Goes To Nightclub

    Five children who were left home alone while their mother went clubbing will remain in custody of the Department of Children and Families, a judge ruled Monday.

    Formeka Sanders, 29, was arrested after her 4-year-old was found wandering in the Oak Glenn Apartments parking lot about 1:45 a.m. Monday. She is facing child neglect charges.

    DCF initially turned the children over to Sanders' mother, a police report said. But at a hearing

    Monday, a judge and DCF officials said Sanders' mother has a history of crack-cocaine use.

    Sanders has six children, but apparently only five of them were home at the time.

    DCF also had prior involvement with the family with allegations involving failure to protect, sexual abuse and inadequate food.

    Judge Anthony Johnson indicated Sanders' mother wouldn't be a possible option for the kids to live with because of the previous DCF involvement and drug use.

    Sanders' children — ages 12, 10, 9, 4 and 2 — were left home alone at their apartment on Mercy Drive while she went to Club Firestone in downtown Orlando, police said.

    Sanders appeared at the hearing in a navy blue jail jumpsuit and said little. She remains in the custody of the Orange County Jail on a $1,000 bond.

    David Rushing, the father of the 4-year-old, also attended the hearing and requested custody of the boy. The judge ordered a review be conducted to determine if it will be a suitable home for the child.

    A similar study is being conducted at Sanders' great-aunt's home to see where they will be placed.

    Police were alerted around 1:40 a.m. by a security guard who was patrolling the parking lot near Sanders unit and found the 4-year-old boy wandering around outside.

    The child told the guard he was by himself and then led the guard back to his apartment, police said.

    When officers arrived, they found four children sleeping in a bedroom. The officer woke all the children, who all seemed to be fine, according to the report.

    The officer tried calling Sanders cell phone several times, but when she answered all he could hear was loud music in the background.

    Sanders returned home around 3:20 a.m. Monday with her boyfriend and was detained.

    During an interview with police, Sanders said she left her home around 12:30 a.m. and placed her oldest son in charge. She told police she feels the child is "old and responsible enough" to take care of the four children.

    Jail records show Sanders has been arrested several times in the past on charges of aggravated battery with a weapon and grand theft of a motor vehicle.

    After the hearing, Rushing said he wants custody of his son and he thinks Sanders is a "fit" mother.

    "I would never expect for anything like this to happen," he said.

    Sunday's incident isn't the first time DCF and law-enforcement have been involved with Sanders' children.

    Orlando police and DCF responded to the apartment complex July 6 when one of her children nearly drowned in a pool.

    Sanders was not home at the time. A father of one of the children was supposed to be supervising the kids.

    "Clearly we have a documented pattern of inadequate supervision and, given the potential for such serious harm, especially in the July incident, we felt we had no choice but to remove the children and place them into protective custody," DCF spokeswoman Carrie Hoeppner said Monday.

    Friday, August 20, 2010

    Police Investigating Attacks On Bicyclists In Charles Village

    Baltimore MD The city's bicycle and pedestrian planner wants a "bike boulevard" to run up Guilford Avenue through Charles Village, an area already filled with commuters using pedal power. But a series of attacks on cyclists and several bike-jackings are creating concern.

    Police had arrested three people in two bike robberies this month and thought they had a handle on the situation until three young men pushed Michael Byrne off his Blue Falcon bike Wednesday night at North Charles and 20th streets.

    Police said one of the men rode the bike away, and a new search for suspects has commenced.

    "We knew the arrests couldn't completely quell the problem," said Maj. Ross Buzzuro, the commander of the Northern District. "We have increased deployment."

    The attacks — which include several instances of harassment and rock-throwing, many that were not reported to police — generated discussion on Facebook among bike commuters and the city's pedestrian planner, Nate Evans.

    Evans said in an interview that he has picked up on "a pattern of attacks on cyclists" in recent weeks in blocks bordered by North and Guilford avenues and Charles and 25th streets. He's heard many of the stories at meetings as he plans a bike route on Guilford.

    "It sounds like in a couple of the attacks, the victims were overcome by a number of assailants," he said. Most occurred on the evening commute, between 5:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.

    The area essentially divides neighborhoods north of downtown and upper Charles Village, and is almost unavoidable for anyone commuting from downtown to points north. It's six blocks south from where Johns Hopkins researcher Stephen Pitcairn was robbed and fatally stabbed last month as he walked home from the train station.

    "That area of Lower Charles Village has always been a dangerous area to ride around in at night," said one bicyclist who didn't want his name used. He was a victim two years ago at nearly the same spot where Byrne was attacked. "It's very dark and just kind of a no-man's land," the young man said.

    "Unfortunately, it's not like a lot of people can avoid these routes," said Evans, who when designing bike routes charts potholes, road conditions, congestion and crime.

    He noted that Guilford and Charles "are some of the safest streets going through that area" and he recommended that "if you see someone coming after you, if you have to go through a red light or a stop sign to avoid being attacked, then keeping safe needs to be the priority."

    Byrne said he was riding home to Charles Village from work as music editor for the City Paper and was going "at a pretty good clip" when three kids stepped off a corner and knocked him down. "It was like a combination of getting punched and tackled," the 30-year-old said.

    He said one youngster "screamed at me not to get up and somebody else took off on the bike." He said he suffered a bruised rib but otherwise wasn't hurt. He said the bike is old and might be worth $300 or $400.

    Police said the description of the attackers is vague. Byrne said he regularly commutes through the area and that he's never before been attacked there. "I don't think it's a bad area," he said of the heavily trafficked streets. "It's not a place where [you] think, 'Oh, something bad is going to happen here.'"

    Tuesday, August 17, 2010

    Mother Arrested For Posting Picture Of Baby With Bong On Facebook

    KEYSTONE HEIGHTS, Fla. (AP) - A central Florida mom who thought it would be funny to post a picture of her baby with a bong on her Facebook page has been arrested.

    Nineteen-year-old Rachel Stieringer was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. A Texas resident called Florida's abuse hot line after seeing the picture online of the baby posing with his face in the bong.

    Two weeks ago the mom had defended her actions , claiming there were no drugs or tobacco in the bowl, and her child was not breathing in smoke.

    But child protection officers from the Florida Department of Children and Families launched an inquiry into her actions.

    "We are alarmed that any parent would take pictures of their child next to what is obviously drug paraphernalia," said spokesman John Harrell.

    The mother had spoken via the social networking site Facebook, and insisting the pictures were a joke.

    She said: "If u look at the picture u can see that there is no bowl in the TABACCO pipe.

    "And i took a pic to show one (expletive) person and it was a mistake. I would never ever ever let him get high."

    The mom said that as part of the investigation she was ordered to take a drugs test, and her son was being checked by doctors.

    She added: "Do you realize how serious this is? i can go to jail and he can be taken away from me. WHY would you do something so (expletive) stupid?

    "i know what i did was stupid but i would NEVER put by baby in harm. im so nice to everyone idk (I don't know) why you would do this to me."

    Clay County Sheriff's deputies say Stieringer turned herself in July 29 and was released on $502 bond.

    A spokesman for the Department of Children and Families said Monday the baby had no injuries and drug tests came back negative.

    A message could not be left at Stieringer's home Tuesday morning. The phone number was busy on several attempts.

    (The grandparents are now caring for the child.)

    Days Of 'Legal Pot' Could Be Few In Baltimore County

    The Peace of Sunshine store off the main drag in Catonsville has lately been making more than half its weekly sales in K2, a "legal pot" known also as "spice." But owner Lawrence J. Zwick says he has sold his last bag. As soon as he heard Monday morning that Baltimore County might make it a crime to sell the smokable leaf, he says, he packed up his inventory of two boxes and shipped it back to the distributor.

    "Oh, I'm going to miss it," said Zwick, a 44-year-old retired Coast Guard warrant officer who for four years has owned the the store specializing in T-shirts, jewelry, incense and hookahs. "But I'd rather run a legitimate business than not running a business at all."

    Minutes before, Kevin Kamenetz, a member of the County Council, had wrapped up a news conference across the street announcing his plans to introduce a bill next month making it illegal to sell, distribute, possess, buy or use K2, or any product with chemical compounds that are known to mimic the effects of marijuana. The bill proposes penalties of $500 fine, 60 days in jail or both.

    The potpourri-like product appeared in the United States about a year ago, and has already been banned in several states in the Midwest and across Europe. Ocean City Police Chief Bernadette A. DiPino says local shops there have been cooperating with her written request in June to voluntarily take K2 off the shelves.

    The product sells in plastic bags for about $20 a gram. That's nearly six times the price of marijuana, according to Agent Donny Moses of the Baltimore Police Department.

    Kamenetz, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for county executive, said K2 "has become an issue for parents in this area. … If the state is not going to act, if the federal government won't act, local government" has to step in, he said, to "protect our kids and help our parents do a better job."

    A former Baltimore prosecutor, Kamenetz says he got wind of the issue recently when a Catonsville newspaper did a story about K2 being sold in the area. He couldn't say how widespread the product is in stores in the county.

    Susan Flaherty of Catonsville was troubled about the newspaper article that focused on Zwick's store, especially because she has two teenage sons.

    "For them to be able to go into a local shop and buy this, it's ridiculous," said Flaherty. She said as far as she knows, her sons have not tried K2 — she said they hadn't heard of it until she spoke to them to warn them away from the stuff.

    Zwick, who has two children of his own, says he's been selling K2 since January, and it's gotten up to $4,000 and $5,000 a week in sales. He said the customers are from "all age ranges," and he never sells to anyone under 18.

    Kamenetz emphasizes reported side effects, including racing heartbeat, high blood pressure, nausea, vomiting and headaches. He called K2 a "fairly dangerous drug."

    Jessica Wehrman, a spokesman for the American Association of Poison Centers, says the country's 60 poison centers have received 1,018 calls about K2 this year. As a comparison, in 2008, the most recent year for which complete statistics are available, Wehrman says over-the-counter and prescription painkillers accounted for more than 331,000 calls.

    Dr. Bruce Anderson, operations director at the Maryland Poison Center, says the center has received few calls about K2. Anderson said he was not dismissing the potential danger of K2, but he said many of the reports about the ill effects of K2 are "consistent with anxiety" reactions that could have more to do with user's psychological state than the substance itself. It's hard to know, he says, because it's hard to know what the ingredients are.

    "It's not even regulated at all," said Anderson. "Who knows what it is?"

    Saturday, August 14, 2010

    Berlin Man Faces Federal Drug Charges

    BERLIN -- A Berlin man is facing federal charges of drug possession and distribution after he was allegedly found with more than 3 pounds of suspected cocaine.

    Tyrone D. Lawson, 37, has been charged in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland for allegedly being a major distributor of cocaine on the Lower Shore. Similar charges against him in Worcester County Circuit and District Court have been dropped to allow the federal case to proceed.

    According to the criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore last week, the Worcester County Sheriff's Office Criminal Enforcement Team began an investigation last summer into drug distribution in and around the county. Their work led them to Lawson.

    "During the investigation, it was learned that (Lawson) was distributing cocaine from his brother's residence," the complaint reads. In May of this year, police issued a search warrant on the property. There, they found a locked shed containing large speakers.

    "Two speakers were removed from inside of the speaker box, and approximately 1.7 kilograms of suspected cocaine was found," according to the documents. Officials also located a scale with suspected cocaine residue and other distribution paraphernalia.

    Tyrone Lawson and his brother, Tony Lawson, were arrested around the time of the search. Tony Lawson was later released on bail. At this time, no federal charges have been filed against him.

    "The focus of the investigation is not Tony; it was his brother, Tyrone," said Cpl. Nathaniel Passwaters, head of the Criminal Enforcement Team. "We never made any direct purchases from Tony, although the bulk of the drugs that were found were in his shed."

    Tyrone Lawson has been incarcerated since May and is in federal custody. Police said they have evidence that links him to the shed. In addition, police are in the process of seizing three vehicles owned by the men.

    Passwaters said investigators took the case to federal court to take advantage of longer minimum and maximum penalties for the drug crimes, not an uncommon practice for the Sheriff's Office in drug cases. Recently, two Pocomoke City men were found guilty in federal court on distribution of crack cocaine. They will be sentenced later this year.

    "The overall thing is the enhanced penalties," Passwaters said. And in Tyrone Lawson's case, this "is a large scale investigation that reaches out beyond Worcester," he said. The investigation is ongoing.

    Woman Tries To Depost Cocaine At Her Bank

    SOUTH WINDSOR, Conn. (WTNH) - A Wethersfield woman is facing charges after police say she handed a bank teller an envelope containing cocaine.

    It happened at Rockville Bank in South Windsor Thursday afternoon.

    Kendl Murphy, 43, pulled up to the drive-up teller and handed over a deposit envelope that contained a small bag with white powder. Bank staff asked Murphy to wait for her transaction to be completed and called police.

    A field test of the substance revealed that it was cocaine.

    Murphy has been charged with possession and possession within 1,500 feet of a school or day care. She was later released on a $1,000 bond.

    Thursday, July 29, 2010

    Charles Village Residents Speak Out About Their Neighborhood

    These people have every reason in the world to be upset and fed up! But are those in the judicial system listening........and if so, for how long? Bravo, Charles Village residents for speaking your minds.

    Marc Unger had had enough. The comedian and Charles Village resident was standing at the foot of a memorial for Stephen Pitcairn, the Hopkins student slain near Unger's home Sunday, listening as politicians took "We are in fear!" Unger yelled, interrupting Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke.

    Unger described how he was asked by police to try to identify the body, and how he hasn't been able to get the image out of his head. He chastised a police spokesman for calling the stabbing an "isolated incident," pointing out that another man was killed a block away earlier this year. (The spokesman has since clarified that he meant that Pitcairn wasn't targeted). He said what happened to Pitcairn could've happened to anyone living or passing through the neighborhood.

    Politicians promoted the event as a show of solidarity, a press conference where each to go before the cameras and call for an end to violence. But dozens of residents showed up, standing on either side of the podium, with the intention of expressing their concerns, and some grew increasingly frustrated at the lack of substantive talk. After all, there have been two other such events nearby this year alone, along Greenmount Avenue (after a 72-year-old Afro newspaper employee was shot at a carryout) and in Guilford (after a resident was robbed and locked in his own trunk).

    Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III matched their outrage, raising his voice above
    the street noise to condemn the failures of the system as veins popped out of his neck.

    "We're sorry we failed," he began. "We're sorry we failed to protect you."

    "I'm going to accept my responsibility and challenge myself about what we could've done better. But I want to hear from a lot of other people," he said, in an apparent allusion to the state's attorney's office or city judges. "... These people should not have been on the streets. We've got to get everybody behind this."

    Bealefeld spoke about "bad guys with guns," saying he doesn't know what's debatable about keep gun offenders in prison. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who could barely be heard from where I was standing, and Del. Curt Anderson both spoke about supporting gun legislation in the next legislative session.

    Of course, Pitcairn's killers weren't "bad guys with the guns" in the sense the public officials were talking about (and wasn't Pitcarin shot). True, John Alexander Wagner, one of those charged in the killing, has handgun and armed robbery convictions from 1991 and 1993 for which he received considerable prison sentences at the time. But in recent years, Wagner's crimes were for assaulting his then-girlfriend and driving a stolen car. He was charged by city police with armed robbery in April, though police never recovered a weapon despite catching Wagner as he ran from the scene.

    That charge was later dropped because prosecutors say the victim refused to cooperate, and there is debate over whether prosecutors could have done more to keep the case alive. Regardless, gun legislation would have done little to change what transpired.

    As the Sun reported Wednesday, Wagner received suspended prison sentences for his most recent crimes and was put on two concurrent probations in the city and later Baltimore County, never forced to serve any of his sentence despite repeatedly running afoul of his probation. He failed to check in with his agents, failed to take required anger management classes at the House of Ruth, picked up new criminal charges on three different occasions, and failed to attempt to pay restitution to one of his victims. Judge John Addison Howard found him guilty of violating his probation, but his probation simply continued unchanged.

    Baltimore State's Attorney Patricia Jessamy has borne much of the brunt of criticism, and she stood far away from the officials gathered behind the podium, telling reporters she did not want to politicize Pitcairn's death. Prodded by a television reporter about whether her office had a role to play in fixing the problems that kept Wagner on the street, she noted that her office in recent years has inserted prosecutors into the violation of probation process, a civil matter traditionally handled by probation agents. Now, prosecutors attend the hearings to try to add weight to the probation agents' concerns. Indeed, prosecutors say they asked city Judge Howard to impose a three year sentence at one of Wagner's recent hearings, to no avail.

    "I don't have all of the answers," Jessamy said, "but I never stop working and neither do my employees." Earlier city councilwoman Belinda Conaway said debating crime and punishment wasn't the issue, challenging residents to reach out and help those less fortunate than themselves. "There's so many young people, crying out for help," she said.

    Nearby, an 18-year resident stood by with a sign: "When criminals slip through the cracks, the city crumbles."
    Baltimore Crime Beat/ Peter Hermann

    Wednesday, July 21, 2010

    Michael Vick's Uncle Sentenced To Prison For Heroin Distribution

    NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - Michael Vick's uncle, Joseph Vick Jr., was sentenced Wednesday to serve 12 years in prison for his involvement in a heroin distribution ring that spanned the Virginia Peninsula, the U.S. Attorney's office said.

    Vick, 57, was one of 22 people busted by federal agents in December 2009 for distributing bulk heroin to Newport News, Hampton, Poquoson and Williamsburg, as well as Gloucester, James City, Matthews, Middlesex and York counties.

    Agents say Vick was a mid-level dealer who typically distributed between 10 and 20 "bundles" or 10-packs of heroin per day.

    Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia said back in December the bust was part of a year-long investigation into the organization.

    FBI agent Phil Mann told the investigation began in September 2008, when an inmate died of a heroin overdose at the Newport News Police Department. An investigation was then launched, which revealed a startling trend, according to investigators.

    "Within the past two years there were about 15 deaths as a result of heroin overdoses, as well as 27 heroin overdoses leading to something less than death," said Mann.

    According to Mann, several of those overdoses have been attributed to heroin distributed by members of the drug trafficking organization.

    Alleged ring leader Darryl Wright, 44, of Hampton was indicted January 13. Wright had allegedly brought heroin from New York and New Jersey to the Peninsula since at least January 2007.

    According to the indictment, members of the heroin ring generally traveled by bus to New York or New Jersey, purchased 200 grams of heroin, and brought the heroin back to a "table top" home allegedly set up by Wright in the southeast community of Newport News. There, according to the indictment, the heroin would be cut and repackaged for street-level distribution.

    Tuesday, July 13, 2010

    18 Year Old Shot By Police Was Armed

    Reported 7/12/10

    NORFOLK--A man killed by police during a chase early Sunday was raising a handgun when officers fired, the Police Department said today.

    Jamarr Hassell, 18, was shot about 2:23 a.m. after officers tried to pull over a Ford Explorer he was driving. About five officers had responded to the 7100 block of Sewells Point Road for a report of gunfire.

    Hassell ran from the Explorer and was shot by police during a foot chase, "Prior to shooting, officers verbally challenged suspect, instructing him to drop his gun. Suspect turned toward officers and began to raise his weapon when officers fired," a police statement said.the department said.

    Two officers have been put on administrative duty while the shooting is investigated, which is routine in such cases.

    The gunfire report was made at 2:17 a.m. A second caller five minutes later said a man in a Ford Explorer was firing a gun into the air near Johnstons Road and Chesapeake Boulevard, police said.

    Officers tried to stop an Explorer on Sewells Point Road; when it stopped, Hassell ran from it, police said.

    The officers at the scene were not aware that Hassell was wanted on charges of robbery, carjacking and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony in connection with a Wednesday incident, police said. In that case, four people tried to carjack a man about 1:40 a.m. in the 7400 block of Fenner St. Police allege that Hassell was one of the carjackers and fired at the victim as he ran.

    The Ford Explorer that Hassell was driving had a North Carolina license plate that did not match the vehicle, police said. Chris Amos, a police department spokesman, said investigators believe it was stolen.

    He was wanted in Chesapeake and Virginia Beach, Norfolk police said. In Chesapeake, Hassell was facing charges of vandalism, two counts of grand larceny and failure to appear, police said. The Virginia Beach charges came while Hassell was a juvenile, and a police spokesman said he couldn't comment on them.

    On his Facebook page, Hassell said he liked comedian Martin Lawrence, and he listed his interests as "money" and his activities as "Smoking weed."