BERLIN -- Two local individuals were arrested on heroin distribution charges late last month after a months-long investigation into the trafficking of the narcotic in Worcester County.
Over the last several months, members of the Worcester County Criminal Enforcement Team and the Ocean City Police Narcotics Unit have been conducting several heroin distribution investigations in the north end of Worcester, specifically the Berlin and Ocean City areas. During the course of the investigations, David Sturgill, 33, of Berlin, was identified as an alleged source of the heroin.
On Oct. 25, surveillance indicated Sturgill was traveling to the Baltimore area accompanied by a female, later identified as Lauren Ann Johnson, 24, of Ocean City. On Oct. 26, a search and seizure warrant was authored by the Criminal Enforcement Team for Sturgill’s vehicle, person and residence.
Members of the Criminal Enforcement Team, along with the Maryland State Police, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office and the Berlin Police Department, stopped Sturgill’s vehicle as it entered into Worcester near the intersection of Libertytown Rd. and Ninepin Branch Rd. in Berlin.
Sturgill and Johnson were taken into custody without incident. As a result of the search and seizure warrant being executed on Sturgill and his vehicle, investigators located 105 individually wrapped bags of heroin, a digital scale and various items of paraphernalia and seized Sturgill’s Ford F-150 truck. Around 5:40 p.m., the search and seizure warrant was served at Sturgill’s residence and various items of paraphernalia were discovered.
Sturgill and Johnson were each charged with possession of heroin and possession with intent to distribute heroin, possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia, and possession of controlled paraphernalia. Each suspect was taken before a District Court Commissioner for initial appearances. Sturgill was committed to the Worcester County Jail on a $10,000 bond, while Johnson was held on a $15,000 bond.
Last week’s arrests represent the second significant heroin bust in Worcester County in as many weeks. Two weeks ago, the Worcester County Criminal Enforcement Team partnered with the Ocean City Police Narcotics Unit on the largest heroin bust in recent Worcester County history. Two Ocean Pines residents were arrested after a warrant service resulted in the seizure of 1,678 bags of heroin worth nearly $42,000
Nabbed In Berlin
SALISBURY -- Three more suspects were arrested for murder and attempted murder for a pair of shootings in Salisbury nearly two weeks ago, including two captured in Berlin, bringing the total number of arrests in the case to five.
Around 11:30 p.m. on October 28, Salisbury Police responded to the Margaret Street area for a reported shooting. When officers arrived, they found two victims lying wounded on or near the front porch of a home. The preliminary investigation revealed the victims were on their front porch around 11:30 p.m. when a group of six to eight African-American males walked by.
Four of the suspects separated from the group and walked toward the two individuals sitting on the porch. Two of those four suspects approached the victims and demanded money. The two suspects were armed and the shootings occurred during the robbery attempt. Emergency Medical Services arrived and transported two of the victims to a hospital where they were both listed initially in critical condition.
The victims were listed initially as a 23-year-old male and a 16-year-old male who both lived at the Margaret Street residence. Their names were not provided initially for safety reasons. However, one of the victims, later identified as Andreas Aquiler, 23, of Salisbury, was pronounced dead at PRMC late Monday morning. The 16-year-old shooting victim, later identified as Edgar Alvarado of Salisbury remains hospitalized at an undisclosed location. He is not being identified at this point for his own safety.
Last Thursday, Maryland State Police troopers from the special fugitive and gang enforcement team identified and arrested three suspects including Deyamah Fisher, 19, of Salisbury; Tevin Blake, 20, of Salisbury; and Gerard Williams, Jr., 17, of Salisbury. Fisher and Blake were arrested in separate apartments in Berlin last Thursday. Williams was located and arrested in Salisbury.
With three suspects arrested, the investigation continued this week with two more suspects nabbed. Sazon Porter, 19, of Salisbury, was arrested last Friday by the Maryland State Police Apprehension Team while walking down a street in Salisbury. Another suspect, Marquavis McCuller, 18, was located and arrested by the MSP Apprehension Team, with assistance from the Delaware State Police, at his residence in Millsboro, Del. He is currently being held in Delaware pending extradition to Wicomico County.
Shooting Suspect Nabbed
POCOMOKE -- A Pocomoke man faces first-degree assault charges this week after allegedly firing a shotgun at another man during a dispute over a wood stove.
On Tuesday, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office and WCBI officers responded to a residence on Ward Rd. in Pocomoke for a reported shooting incident. The investigation revealed the suspect, identified as Shawn Edward Marshall, 41, of Pocomoke, had been in an argument with another man over a wood stove when he went back into the residence and exited with a shotgun. Marshall allegedly fired the shotgun two times, but the victim was not struck. Marshall then fled the area and was arrested a short time later in his vehicle. He was been charged with first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment.
Running Over Brother
Gets Man 10 Days
SNOW HILL -- A Washington, D.C. woman arrested in May after driving her car onto a sidewalk in the area of 39th Street and deliberately running over her brother with whom she had been fighting pleaded guilty last week in Circuit Court to second-degree assault and was sentenced to four months in jail, most of which was suspended in favor of probation and a fine.
Around 6:30 p.m. on May 5, Ocean City Police responded to the area of 39th Street and Coastal Highway for a reported motor vehicle accident and assault. When officers arrived on the scene, they observed a 2011 Mazda parked across the sidewalk. The vehicle had struck an exterior wall, brick staircase, railing and mailbox of a real estate office on 39th Street.
The investigation revealed the driver, identified as Ladon Chimere Thomas, 28, had been in a verbal argument with her brother, which led to a physical altercation between the two siblings. After the altercation, Thomas got into her vehicle and turned north onto Coastal Highway. She then suddenly and deliberately swerved onto the sidewalk, striking her brother from the rear, according to police reports. The vehicle then collided with a real estate office, causing damage to the business.
During the course of the investigation, Thomas was highly agitated and continued to yell, scream and curse, according to police reports. She also allegedly assaulted a police officer while providing a description of the incident. The victim was transported by Ocean City Emergency Services to PRMC in Salisbury.
Thomas was also transported by Ocean City Emergency Services to Atlantic General and was later released. After her release, Thomas was arrested and charged with first- and second-degree assault for hitting her brother with the vehicle, along with second-degree assault on a police officer.
Last week in Circuit Court, Thomas pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and was sentenced to four months in jail. All but 10 days of the sentence was then suspended. Thomas was placed on probation for 18 months and fined $500.
Jail For North OC Burglary
SNOW HILL -- An Ocean City man arrested in June after police were able to connect him to a residential break-in in May pleaded guilty last week in Circuit Court to third-degree burglary and was sentenced to three years in jail, all but six months of which was then suspended.
On June 7, the OCPD arrested Alexander Ellis, 19, of Ocean City after connecting him to a burglary in the north end of town back on May 11. During the course of the investigation into several north-end burglaries, OCPD detectives developed Ellis as a suspect. OCPD officers served a search and seizure warrant on Ellis’ residence in regards to a separate incident when they discovered several items reported stolen in a burglary on May 11.
An arrested warrant was issued and Ellis was taken into custody. He has been charged with first-degree burglary, felony theft and malicious destruction of property. Last week, Ellis pleaded guilty to third degree burglary and was sentenced to three years in jail, all but six months of which was then suspended. He was also placed on probation for two years and was ordered to pay $992 in restitution to the victim.
Hit Cop, Led Chase
SNOW HILL -- A Pennsylvania man arrested in July on first-degree assault and a slew of other charges when he was pulled over on suspicion of driving while intoxicated and allegedly ran over a police officer before touching off a wild chase was found guilty last week in Circuit Court and was sentenced to 90 days in jail, all but three of which were then suspended.
Shortly before 11 p.m. on July 27, an Ocean City police officer on bicycle patrol in the downtown area observed a Jeep Cherokee driven by Corey John Martini, 20, of Wickhaven, Pa., make a wide right turn from Philadelphia Ave. onto 8th Street, crossing the double-yellow line in the process. The officer initiated a traffic stop at 8th Street and St. Louis Ave.
The officer approached Martini and detected a strong odor of alcohol emanating from his breath and person along with bloodshot, glassy eyes and slurred speech. While the officer was speaking with Martini, he observed a plastic Baggie of suspected marijuana in the center console. The officer asked Martini for it, at which point he snatched his driver’s license from the officer’s hand, turned his vehicle toward the officer and accelerated, striking the officer with the passenger side of the vehicle.
The Jeep knocked the officer to the ground and bent his bicycle, according to police reports. Martini then accelerated at a high rate of speed down St. Louis Ave. in the wrong lane. The officer pursued Martini as he drove northbound in the southbound lane of St. Louis Ave. before turning west on 10th Street. A witness told the officer Martini had abandoned the vehicle and ran into a condo construction site on 11th Street and Edgewater Ave.
The initial officer and a second officer pursued Martini on foot as the suspect jumped over several fences to reach the back of the property. The second officer eventually tackled Martini to the ground, but the suspect continued to resist, according to police reports. The two officers continued to attempt to handcuff Martini, using several knee strikes and an ankle roll with a police baton. A third officer arrived on the scene and dropped his knee on Martini’s back, causing the suspect’s head to hit the ground. Martini then complied and was handcuffed and taken into custody.
Other officers responded and located the Jeep at 11th Street and Edgewater Ave. The officers made contact with the owner of the Jeep, who identified herself as Martini’s girlfriend. The woman told police she had been in a verbal argument with Martini earlier in the night that had gotten so bad she was packing up her belongings to find a hotel room. The woman told police the vehicle’s trunk was still open when Martini sped off in the Jeep and all of her luggage fell out in the parking lot. A search of the vehicle turned up an electronic stun gun in the driver side door compartment. The woman told police the stun gun was hers and that it didn’t work, but she kept it for protection.
Also discovered in the Jeep was a prescription bottle containing marijuana and some unknown pills later identified as predizone, which is not a controlled dangerous substance. Meanwhile, back at the Public Safety Building, Martini continued his expletive-laced tirade at police officers and refused to submit to a breath test or sign the advice of rights form. He was charged with 22 total counts including first- and second-degree assault on a police officer, resisting arrest and numerous traffic and drug-related offenses.
Last week in Circuit Court, Martini entered an Alford plea to second-degree assault and was sentenced to 90 days in jail, all but three of which were then suspended. He was also placed on probation for two years and fined $600. Martini also pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana and was sentenced to 15 days with all but three suspended.