The Ocean City Police Vice/Narcotics Unit has been involved in an aggressive and extensive six week undercover drug investigation which involved multiple suspects throughout Ocean City. The investigation, which was initiated by the Ocean City Police Department due to an overwhelming increase in heroin abuse this year, resulted in approximately 72 drug buys of heroin, cocaine, prescriptions and marijuana. The drug purchases were predominantly heroin.
On November 27, 2012, Ocean City Police narcotics detectives went before the Worcester County Grand Jury which resulted in the indictments of 23 suspects for various drug distribution charges. The bonds on the indicted suspects ranged from $100,000 to $300,000.
The indicted suspects are identified as:
- Bruce Culver Bennett, 31, of Ocean City, MD (In Custody)
- Jessica Stone Vincent, 29, Ocean City, MD (Not in Custody)
- Joshua Allen Drennan, 20, of Ocean City, MD (Not in Custody)
- Edward Allen Paddy, 37, of Ocean City, MD (In Custody)
- Charles Darick Andrews, 33, of Ocean City, MD (Not in Custody)
- Sheron Levette Purnell, 40, of Berlin, MD (Not in Custody)
- Anthony DeLarry Hayward, 31, of Berlin, MD (In Custody)
- Michael Anthony Jones, 42, of Ocean City, MD (Not in Custody)
- Thomas Wayne Purnell Jr., 25, of Berlin, MD (In Custody)
- Hunter William Davis, 25, of Ocean City, MD (In Custody)
- Michael Eugene Helmbright, 41, of Ocean City, MD (In Custody)
- Erik Ryan Curry, 24, of Berlin, MD (In Custody) (In Custody)
- James Joseph “Joey” Glenn, Jr., 22 of Berlin, MD (In Custody)
- Christopher Shaun Fitzpatrick, 32, of Ocean City, MD (In Custody)
- Cody Lee Bradshaw, 26, of Cambridge, MD (In Custody)
- Jennifer Lynn Adams, 36, of Ocean City, MD (In Custody)
- Shelly Ann Brittingham, 41, of Delmar, DE (In Custody)
- Daniel Zellman, 19, of Whaleyville, MD (In Custody)
- Taylor David Bakke, 22, of Berlin, MD (In Custody)
- Tracey Lee Shaffer, 43, of Ocean City, MD (In Custody)
- Nicholas Alexander Palmisano, 18, of Ocean City, MD (In Custody)
- Tori Logan DeCelles, 21, of Ocean City, MD (In Custody)
On Thursday, November 29, 2012, OCPD detectives served a search and seizure warrant on Louis Joseph Rychwalski III, 27, of Ocean City. Rychwalski was found to be in possession of four “bundles” of heroin, which amounted to 46 bags of heroin. Detectives also arrested two additional suspects (Nicholas Alexander Palmisano, 18, of Ocean City and Edward Allen Paddy, 37 of Ocean City) who were coming to meet with Rychwalski to buy heroin from him. Rychwalski, who was not one of the OCPD indicted suspects, has been charged with various drug charges including possession with the intent to distribute heroin. He is being held on $75,000.00 bond.
During the search and seizure warrant at Rychwalski’s residence detectives located additional heroin, drug paraphernalia, and two replica handguns in the house.
On November 29, while police were attempting to locate and arrest indicted suspects, officers stopped a vehicle containing an indicted suspect, Shelly Anne Brittingham, 41, of Delmar, DE. During the stop, police recovered a total of 63 bags of heroin from the vehicle. Further investigation revealed two additional suspects, identified as Quamaine Lamar Huggins, 20, of Delmar, DE and Stephanie Lynne Orick, 24 of Hebron, MD, who were both charged with possession with intent to distribute heroin and a third suspect who was the driver/owner of the car, identified as Markel Lamar Barkley, 21 of Quantico, MD, was arrested and charged with possession of heroin. The vehicle was seized pending forfeiture. (Pictures of indicted suspects and arrestee’s are available upon request)
Police arrested additional wanted suspects as a result of the indictments. In all, 26 suspects were arrests, three vehicles were seized,110 bags of heroin were confiscated, along with five bags of cocaine, five replica handguns, and $656 in cash.
There are still five outstanding wanted persons from this investigation; they are identified as:
OCPD Operation Smackdown Supsects still at large
The OCPD will continue the search for the indicted suspects in Ocean City. If they are unable to be located in Ocean City, they will be turned over to the Maryland State Police Fugitive Recovery Squad.
The OCPD conducted this investigation with cooperation and support of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Department/Criminal Enforcement Team, Maryland State Police and the Worcester County States Attorney’s Office.
If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of the five fugitives listed above, please contact the OCPD at 410-723-6610 or your local law enforcement agency.