Flight from Justice Ended in Flight to Jail

SALISBURY, MD. – Wicomico County Sheriff Mike Lewis reports that a man attempting to board a flight at the Salisbury Airport couldn’t provide proper identification and a Wicomico Sheriff Deputy was called to assist the TSA personnel.

The incident took place on July 10, 2018, at 6:30 AM and resulted in the deputy discovering the reason the man had a phony ID and that he was wanted on a bench warrant in Cecil County, Md.

Police say that a search that accompanied his arrest on the bench warrant revealed that he had heroin in his possession.

Matthew T. Pennington, 24, of 1568 Lorewood Grove Road, Middletown, Del., was arrested on the bench warrant and the heroin charge as well.

Instead of boarding a flight on an airplane, Pennington was given a first-class seat in a Sheriff’s vehicle for his flight to the Wicomico County Jail and a visit with a District Court Commissioner.

Matthew T. Pennington, 24, Middletown, Del. boarding flight at Salisbury Airport with heroin in possession. Wicomico Sheriff July 10, 2018.
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Matthew Pennington posted this photo on his Facebook page the day after he missed his flight but got a free one to jail.

Pennington was provided with a certificate awarding him a free lawyer courtesy of Maryland taxpayers and was released on bond from jail the same day he missed his flight.

Pennington was charged on Oct. 7, 2016, by Cecil County Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Stewart with driving on a suspended out of state license and failed to appear in Cecil County District Court on Feb. 22, 2017, and a bench warrant was issued on May 16, 2018.

Pennington posted a photo on his Facebook page the day after he was jailed and released, that showed he was making a flight that day to Florida.

Salisbury Airport is served by six flights daily via American Airlines and its subsidiary Piedmont Airlines which connects travelers to American hubs at Charlotte, N.C., and Philadelphia, Pa.

2,282 Heroin & Alcohol Overdose Deaths in 2017

Maryland officials say that during 2017, there were 2,282 drug and alcohol-related intoxication deaths in Maryland. Of those deaths, 2,009 were opioid-related. Fentanyl-related deaths continue to rise, increasing from 1,119 in 2016 to 1,594 in 2017. Cocaine-related deaths are also up from 464 in 2016 to 691 in 2017. The number of heroin-related and prescription drug-related deaths dropped slightly in 2017 when compared to 2016.

Preliminary data from the first three months of 2018 indicate that there were 653 unintentional drug and alcohol-related intoxication deaths in Maryland. There were 579 opioid-related deaths, 500 of which involved fentanyl. Heroin-related deaths fell from 291 during the same period in 2017 to 236 in 2018, while prescription drug-related deaths remained flat.

The data shows that fentanyl combined with cocaine or heroin is driving the increase in overall overdoses in 2017 and in the first quarter of 2018. There has been an increase of fentanyl mixed with cocaine, which is accounting for the increase in cocaine-related deaths. Nearly two-thirds of cocaine-related deaths in 2017 also involved fentanyl.

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