Maryland

21 arrested in undercover drug operation in Ocean City; drugs valued over $82k

OCEAN CITY, Md. - The Ocean City Police Department's Narcotics Unit, with the help of the Worcester County Criminal Enforcement Team (C.E.T.) and the Ocean City Police Special Enforcement Unit (S.E.U.) announced on Tuesday that it concluded a three month undercover operation that resulted in multiple arrests.

With the help of O.C.P.D. Quick Response Team, undercover detectives started making arrests and serving search and seizure warrants on Wednesday, December 13. A total of 21 suspects were arrested or charged based on the investigation and various drugs were seized.

The investigation began in September as police tried to stop thefts, burglaries and car break ins in the downtown area by targeting street level drug distribution. During the course of the investigation, undercover officers arranged to buy heroin and cocaine on multiple occasions by Sherif Talib of Baltimore.

On December 1, detectives arranged to meet Talib in West Ocean City to buy several ounces of heroin. As officers moved in to arrest Talib, he reportedly struck a Maryland State Police vehicle with his car and then fled in his vehicle towards Ocean City. During the brief chase of Talib, Talib allegedly threw a plastic bag with powder out of the passenger window and it burst against the chain link fence.

Talib reportedly went into Ocean City traveling the wrong way on to northbound Philadelphia Avenue, where he crashed into the median and struck the wooden median barriers. He was apprehended and charged with two counts of first degree assault, two counts of assault on law enforcement, distribution of heroin, distribution of cocaine and possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine, along with several more charges.

It is estimated that the total street value of the drugs that Talib delivered with intent to be sold in Ocean City and Worcester County was about $82,290. That reportedly would have been enough heroin to put over 2700 capsules of heroin on the streets in Worcester County and Ocean City.

The following suspects were arrested as a result of the undercover investigation:

Leon Johnson, 39, Salisbury: Detectives say that they learned that Johnson was supplying cocaine to people in Ocean City. After building a rapport with Johnson, police say they made numerous undercover purchases. Johnson was charged with distribution of crack cocaine, distribution of powder cocaine, distribution of oxycodone and several more charges.

Michael Sellers, 39, Salisbury: Undercover detectives reportedly met Sellers during the course of the investigation. An undercover detective allegedly purchased heroin, crack cocaine and powder cocaine from Sellers. Sellers is currently in Somerset County Jail and his case will be presented before a Grand Jury with expectations of being charged with distribution of heroin, distribution of cocaine, distribution of crack cocaine and several more charges.

Violitus Scott and Cherice Johnson, both 37 and from Salisbury: Undercover detectives reportedly met Scott during the course of the investigation. Police say that undercover detectives made crack cocaine purchases from Scott. During the investigation, Scott reportedly sent Johnson to do deals on his behalf with the undercover detective. An undercover detective allegedly made crack cocaine purchases from her also. On December 13, undercover detectives arranged to meet Scott to buy crack cocaine from him. 

Police say that when Scott arrived, detectives from O.C.P.D. Narcotics, O.C.P.D. S.E.U. and Worcester County C.E.T. moved in and arrested Scott. Johnson was driving the vehicle that Scott arrived in and she was arrested on her charges as well. Scott is being charged with distribution of crack cocaine, possession of crack cocaine and conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine. Johnson is being charged with distribution of crack cocaine, possession of crack cocaine and conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine.

Samuel Bermudez, 24, Salisbury: O.C.P.D. Narcotics detectives reportedly met with Bermudez while working undercover. An undercover detective reportedly made several purchases of alprazolam from Bermudez. Bermudez was also allegedly supplying several other people in Ocean City with prescription pills that they were selling on the streets of Ocean City.

On December 13, O.C.P.D. detectives, the O.C.P.D. Quick Response Team, and Worcester County Criminal Enforcement Team members served a search and seizure warrant at Bermudez's home and arrested Bermudez. Bermudez is charged with distribution of alprazolam, possession of alprazolam and possession of hydromorphone.

Additionally, 53-year-old Joseph Weber of Ocean City, was charged with distribution of heroin, 35-year-old Troy Teutsch of Ocean City, was charged with distribution of alprazolam (xanax) and distribution of marijuana, 24-year-old Brendan Burgey of Ocean City, was charged with distribution of alprazolam (xanax) and distribution of marijuana, 54-year-old Joseph Deshields of Berlin, was charged with distribution of crack cocaine, 32-year-old Michael David Austin of Ocean City, was charged with distribution of alprazolam (xanax) and distribution of buprenorphine (suboxone.)

27-year-old Caitlin Cotrell of Ocean City, was charged with distribution of cocaine, 18-year-old Avery Listmann of Ocean City was charged with distribution of marijuana, 21-year-old Joshua Dubose of Ocean City, was charged with distribution of marijuana, 61-year-old Robert Lee Donaldson of Ocean City, was charged with distribution of crack cocaine.


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