Police and fire briefs, Jan. 6, 2021

Submitted photo/DoCo EMS
On Thursday, employees within the EMS Division received their first COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccinations will continue for Emergency Services in the days to come in conjunction with partners from Dorchester Health Dept. Dorchester County Sheriff’s Deputy Wendell Garrison Sr. was among the first responders who was vaccinated.

Bridge Tunnel wreck
On Dec. 29, 2020 around 8:26 a.m., the Virginia Beach Fire Department responded to a reported of a tractor trailer going over the bridge of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. Units arrived on scene and found a vehicle floating in the water.

Information received from bystanders on scene stated that a 20-foot box truck was traveling northbound just before the second island and was seen going into the water. Virginia Beach Fire, Virginia Beach Police, and Virginia Beach EMS worked with the U.S. Coast Guard and Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel Authority searching for the driver, whom witnesses saw in the water.

Coast Guard officials said on the evening of Dec. 29 that they had suspended their search for the man, identified as Erik Mezick, 47, of Fruitland.
At the time of the incident, Mr. Mezick was driving for Cloverland Greenspring Dairy.
“My plan is go to the Chesapeake Bay,” Kevin Mezick wrote on Facebook on Friday, saying he would search on Saturday. “I really need to find my brother Erik. If anyone wants to join and has a boat, help would be greatly appreciated. I ask all fisherman, individuals on the beaches and hunters please keep and eye out. We need to bring closure to this tragic event and bring Erik home. Thanks to everyone for all kind words and support. It’s really comforting to our family.”

Gift Card scams
The Maryland State Police Princess Anne Barrack has seen a rise in gift card scams, mainly targeting the elderly, a statement from the agency said.
Most often, consumers that use gift cards to pay a scammer are drawn in by an imposter scam. These can take on many forms, but the ones most likely to rely on gift cards as a payment method were government, family and business imposters, as well as tech support scams.
The scammers convince consumers that they must pay using gift cards. The reasons they present vary, but they always come back to the idea that a consumer must go to a retail outlet, purchase physical gift cards, and then provide the PIN numbers on the cards to the scammer. Reports suggest scammers favor certain brands of gift cards, and those change over time.

“Do not use a gift card to pay the IRS or Social Security, tech support, a family member in trouble, ransom or to avoid arrest or deportation, a member of the military, or to keep your utilities on,” the statement said. “Anyone who encounters one of these scams should report the fraud to the Maryland State Police Princess Anne Barrack at 443-260-3700.”

MSP Aviation’s 50th year
Dec. 31 closed the 50th year of Maryland State Police Aviation’s service. Since March of 1970, Maryland State Police helicopter crews have transported more than 150,000 patients to lifesaving trauma care. “We are proud to be a member of Maryland’s world-renowned integrated emergency medical services system,” a statement from the MSP said.
“Thank you and all the dedicated hospital employees there and across our state for all you do each day to save lives, especially during this past year,” the statement continued. “The members of the Aviation Command are proud of their work during the past 50 years, but they are not letting up.”

Intent to distribute
On the morning of Jan. 3, Deputies saw a traffic violation and made a traffic stop on Rt 50 near White Lowe Dr. The Deputies developed probable cause to believe criminal activity was taking place.
The Deputies searched the vehicle and located marijuana in sufficient quantity and packaging to be indicative of an intent to distribute. The driver and sole occupant, was arrested.
Phillip Jones was taken before a District Court Commissioner and held in Central Booking without bond.

Charges: Possession with intent to distribute marihuana, Possession of marijuana (more than 10 grams).