Monday, 17 December 2018
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Charles County deputy injured in Mechanicsville crash

A Charles County law officer continued his recovery this week at a hospital, authorities report, from injuries he suffered Sunday morning when the police car he was driving went off Route 5 in Mechanicsville and hit two vehicles at a shop.

Sterlin Douglas, a Charles sheriff’s deputy, apparently “suffered a medical issue,” according to a St. Mary’s sheriff’s office release, before the 6:34 a.m. crash, and a dispatch log states that a Mechanicsville ambulance crew took the injured motorist to the Prince George’s Hospital Center. Charles County Sheriff Troy Berry issued a release Monday stating that Douglas was “doing much better,” and received good care at the hospital and from first responders.

The southbound 2009 Ford Crown Victoria left the highway, near its intersection with Baptist Church Road, before striking a culvert and the two vehicles parked at the Used Car Factory, the St. Mary’s sheriff’s release states, and the Ford then re-entered the road, stopping on the shoulder.

Chaptico fentanyl possession suspect also accused of threat

Devone Aeticis Hall, 30, of Chaptico was incarcerated Friday without bond on charges including the possession of fentanyl with the intent to distribute the synthetic opioid, and he also was charged with threatening a court commissioner at the jail.

Hall also was charged with the possession of heroin with the intent to distribute, and the possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute, plus gun charges from an ongoing investigation by St. Mary’s sheriff’s narcotics detectives that court papers state culminated Thursday evening along Route 5 near the Loveville community.

Law officers ordered Hall to get on the ground before he led them on a brief foot chase, the court papers state, and after a brief scuffle ended with his arrest, a police dog’s alert prompted a search of the car he was driving and found some small cloth and plastic bags containing the suspected drugs. A loaded 9 mm handgun also was seized, court papers state, along with boxes of ammunition in the car’s back seat.

On Friday at the county jail, Hall was charged through a summons with making a threat to a state official in court papers alleging that during a hearing before David Gray, a court commissioner, the suspect became upset that he was being denied pretrial release and told the commissioner, “You are going to die for this, and when you die, you will die at the hands of the devil.”

St. Mary’s sheriff, court among grant recipients

Statewide distribution of almost $12 million in federal highway safety funds to about 90 agencies and organizations across Maryland includes money for law enforcement and a court program in St. Mary’s, according to a release noting the purposes of the effort.

The funds distributed through the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office will go toward increasing the use of seat belts in all seating positions; preventing impaired, aggressive and distracted driving; increasing the safety of pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists; promoting the correct use of child passenger safety seats; paying for overtime enforcement of the state’s traffic laws; supporting police training for highway safety and traffic enforcement; and increasing capability and efficiency of the state’s traffic data systems. Maryland’s five-year Strategic Highway Safety Plan guides the funding of traffic safety-related projects, including strategies set forth for meeting the state’s Toward Zero Deaths goal of cutting the number of deaths on state roads, tallied at 557 last year, in half by 2030.

A breakdown of the amounts granted across the state include more than $1.5 million for Maryland State Police programs, and in St. Mary’s, $21,194 for a DUI Court and $42,500 for the sheriff’s office.

JOHN WHARTONSheriff posts crime news on blog

The St. Mary’s sheriff’s office posts news and information on incidents and arrests, including photographs of suspects, online at

The sheriff’s office also posts surveillance images and other information on the website when the public’s assistance is being sought during ongoing investigations, and the website’s links include access to NIXLE alerts, sheriff’s office Twitter posts and written comments by Sheriff Tim Cameron (R).

Email addresses can be entered on the website, to receive a daily sheriff’s office summary of information.

Sheriff’s office offers online reporting option

The St. Mary’s sheriff’s office offers citizens a web-based method to report minor crimes where there is no suspect information or other investigative leads. The online reporting system can be used to report any suspicious incidents, lost property, theft, or vandalism.

When no suspect is known or seen in connection with these incidents, the sheriff’s office urges residents to use the online reporting system, including in cases involving missing cellphones, wallets and other items of value.

If information about a suspect is known, residents should continue to call the sheriff’s office’s non-emergency line at 301-475-8008, for a deputy to be dispatched to take a report of the incident. As always, if there is an emergency, a crime in progress, or an immediate need for medical assistance, dial 911.

Sheriff Tim Cameron (R) has described the online reporting system as a valuable adjunct to direct contact with the sheriff’s office in situations where the citizen reporting the offense does not know who committed the crime. The new program saves crime victims time when reporting a minor offense, according to the sheriff, and it allows deputies to perform their investigations more efficiently.

Reward offered for tips in cases

Citizens with information about unsolved crimes in St. Mary’s can collect a cash reward by calling St. Mary’s County Crime Solvers 24 hours a day at 301-475-3333. They can withhold their name and later collect their reward through a number-identification system.

The Crime Solvers program assists law enforcement in solving open investigations that may not have been closed without the extra incentive of anonymity and an offer of a reward, providing the information leads to an arrest or indictment.

The Crime Solvers board of directors meets at 10 a.m. on the first Thursday of each month at the county’s Northern Senior Center in Charlotte Hall.

Contributions to the St. Mary’s County Crime Solvers reward fund can be mailed to St. Mary’s County Crime Solvers Inc. at P.O. Box 221, Mechanicsville, MD 20659. St. Mary’s County Crime Solvers Inc. is a designated 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The full amount of gifts is tax deductible to the extent of the law, since no goods or services were provided in relation to the contribution.

St. Mary’s County Crime Solvers Inc. does not receive any taxpayer dollars to help in its efforts. All money is raised through Crime Solvers’ fundraising efforts, and donations from businesses and the public.

Sheriff welcomes text-message tips

Cellphones and other handheld communication devices can be used to send text messages with tips for the St. Mary’s sheriff’s office, by texting TIP239, plus the message, to CRIMES, numerically 274637. For more information on the text-message program, go online to

Police tips line open

Maryland State Police in Leonardtown operate a Tips Line at 410-257-4925 or 888-210-1450, inviting anyone with information about a crime that has occurred, or they expect may occur, to anonymously report that information 24 hours a day to authorities. Citizens may use the same telephone number to report concerns to police that do not involve criminal activity.

Information also can be submitted by email to, and police investigators can be followed on Facebook at CED-Central South.



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