LEONARDTOWN, Md. (December 14, 2012)The St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office released the following incident and arrest reports.
FACEBOOK POST LEADS TO DETAINMENT OF INNOCENT DELIVERY DRIVER: On December 13, the Sheriff's Office received information regarding several local Facebook posting concerning a suspicious, mid-size, Budget Rental truck operating in the Louis Bailey Road in the Avenue area. It was alleged that on December 12 at approximately 5:00 p.m., the operator of the truck was driving slowly throughout neighborhoods, pulling into and out of several driveways. The Facebook postings also indicated that, at one point, the driver stopped a woman and made an inappropriate comment.
Deputies responded to the area to attempt to locate the truck and driver. On December 13 at approximately 4:35 p.m., the vehicle was located and stopped on Route 234 near the St. Mary's County line. The operator was identified through his Maryland driver's license. Further investigation revealed and confirmed, through employee identification, that the operator of the truck was driver/employee of FEDEX.
Deputies contacted FEDEX and spoke with a supervisor and explained the situation. The supervisor verified FEDEX does use Budget trucks and seasonal employees for holiday deliveries. The FEDEX employee was assigned to the Colton's Point area to deliver packages. The driver produced an electronic log verifying he has been in the Louis Bailey Road area making deliveries. The driver explained he pulls into driveways to deliver packages and update his electronic log prior to traveling to the next scheduled delivery location.
The driver stated he did not place the FEDEX magnets on his truck because he was not sure of Maryland's law regarding the placement of the magnets on vehicles. The driver was in possession and produced the FEDEX magnets for the truck. Deputies were permitted to search the cargo area of the vehicle. Deputies observed children's toys sealed in boxes for delivery.
Deputies were not able to substantiate the in appropriate comment complaint. Based on the investigation it was determined that there was no probable cause of a crime. The driver was told to place the FEDEX magnets on his truck so citizens would he aware the truck was a delivery vehicle. An Incident Report was completed and the driver was sent on his way.
Social media is a very effective tool to transmit information, however; the Sheriff's Office would like to remind citizen's that social media is not the proper venue to report suspicious activity or crimes. Suspicious activity and crimes should be reported directly to the police to assure immediate response and follow up.
CHILDREN LIE TO POLICE ABOUT SUSPICIOUS MAN: On December 7, police units responded to the Valley Lee area for the report of a suspicious incident involving an alleged suspect in a white van attempting to contact children at a bus stop. The incident was forwarded to the St. Mary's County Bureau of Criminal Investigations for follow up investigation.
On December 10, detectives from the BCI Special Victims Unit interviewed multiple witnesses who were at or near the bus stop when the alleged incident occurred. Following a thorough investigation it was determined the incident had been fabricated by two elementary school age children.
"Although this particular report was fabricated, the safety and security of our children is paramount. We continue to encourage parents and students to report all suspicious activity and/or individuals." (Captain Terry Black)
SCHOOL BUS DRIVER DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED ARREST: On December 13 at approximately 3:15 p.m., the Sheriff's Office's Leonardtown High School Resource Officer Cpl. Chad Hartzell was contacted by the St. Mary's County Public School Transportation Department. The Transportation Department received a complaint regarding the operator of School Bus #603. The complain alleged the operator of Bus #603 was operating the school bus in reckless driving and was possibly under the influence of alcohol. The bus and driver were stationary outside of Leonardtown High School loading students at the end of day's dismissal. Approximately 12 students had loaded onto the bus but the bus had not yet departed. Cpl. Hartzell made contact with the driver who was identified as Ethel Quade Ressler, 67, of Mechanicsville.
While speaking with Ressler, Cpl. Hartzell detected an odor of an alcoholic beverage on Ressler's breath and person. Cpl. Hartzell also observed other signs of possible impairment. Cpl. Hartzell had Ressler exit the bus and he conducted a Standardized Field Sobriety Test. Upon the completion of the test, Ressler was placed under arrest for operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and transported to the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office.
While being processed at the Sheriff's Office, Ressler made threats to harm herself. Ressler was transported to a local hospital for evaluation.
Ressler was charged with the following traffic violations:
-- Driving vehicle while under the influence of alcohol;
-- Driving while impaired by alcohol;
-- Attempting to drive vehicle while impaired by alcohol while transporting a minor;
-- Negligent Driving; and
-- No person within 4 hours having physical control of vehicle shall possess intoxicating beverage.
The Sheriff's Office is continuing the investigation and consulting with the St. Mary's County States Attorneys Office. Additional criminal charges against Russler may be depending. In addition, the Sheriff's Office is cooperating with the St. Mary's County Public School System as they conduct their internal administrative investigation. Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact Cpl. Chad Hartzell at 301-475-4040.
DRUG ARREST: BCI Vice Narcotics detectives received information that Byron Donald Green, 31, of Lexington Park, was a distributor of Oxycodone. As a result, a search and seizure warrant was obtained and executed. As a result of the search and seizure warrant, Suspect Green was indicted by the St. Mary's County Grand Jury on the following charges: Possession of Oxycodone with the Intent to Distribute, Obtaining "Oxycodone by Fraud, and Wear, Carry and Transport Handguns. Suspect Green was served a Criminal Summons issued by the Circuit Court and was provided a date to appear on January 17, 2013 for an arraignment.
Disclaimer: In the U.S.A., all persons accused of a crime by the State are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. See:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presumption_of_innocence. Additionally, all of the information provided above is solely from the perspective of the respective law enforcement agency and does not provide any direct input from the accused or persons otherwise mentioned.